NC’s Emerald City Sports Scene: Pirates, Bucks and Gnomes, Oh My! | Sports Destination Management

NC’s Emerald City Sports Scene: Pirates, Bucks and Gnomes, Oh My!

Feb 21, 2024
Stallings Stadium-Greenville, NC

Have you been to North Carolina’s Emerald City? Greenville is widely recognized as the thriving cultural, educational, economic and medical hub of Eastern North Carolina, and is the perfect place to plan your next tournament. If you are looking for a place that has big city amenities, while still retaining that small town charm and affordability, this is the place for you!


Greenville takes great pride and enjoyment in our local sports scene. Between the Pirates, Gnomes and Bucks, there are multiple opportunities to catch a game all year long!

East Carolina University and sports go hand-in-hand, like Eastern North Carolina and legendary barbecue. With one of the biggest and oldest fanbases in the state, ECU Pirate Nation fans bleed purple and gold. It’s hard to find a city with as much team spirit as Greenville.


There is never a dull game from football to baseball, especially in the student sections, aptly named, The Boneyard and The Jungle. This region of the state is known for baseball, with countless young athletes to the collegiate and professional level, and ECU baseball is no different. Year in and year out, ECU baseball competes at an elite collegiate level that you will not find anywhere else.


Greenville is home to the newest Coastal Plain League (CPL) expansion team, a wood bat summer league for off-season college athletes. According to the legends, gnomes have been hiding throughout Greenville and protecting the ECU Pirate treasure. Recently coming out of the shadows, the Greenville Yard Gnomes kick off their inaugural season in May 2024.


The Yard Gnomes play in the newly revamped Guy Smith Stadium, former home of the Greenville Greenies, our original wood bat team that played from 1927 to 1951! Guy Smith’s renovations will bring 400 additional seats, additional bathrooms and an industrial-themed cargo-box concession area. Come chill with your “gnomies” and catch a Yard Gnome game this season.


Not only do we have awesome collegiate baseball opportunities with the Pirates and Gnomes, but Greenville is also the home of the Little League Softball® World Series! Since 2021, Girls with Game have come to Greenville from all around the globe, creating lifelong memories for both players and spectators. The tournament is held annually in August at Stallings Stadium in Elm Street Park, just minutes from Downtown Greenville and East Carolina University. In 2024, you can celebrate the 50th anniversary of Little League Softball® from August 4-11.


Another spectator opportunity comes from one of our newest teams that has taken the city by storm. The Greenville United Bucks, a semi-pro soccer club, kicked off their first year with an undefeated regular season! This team has quickly garnered local support, gathering an electric sideline feeling during the games. If you are visiting in the spring, this is a hidden gem in the Emerald City that you do not want to miss!


If you find yourself in town when there aren't any home games, don't worry! There’s still plenty to do. Find over 40 restaurants and numerous shopping opportunities in our Downtown District, as well as activities and attractions such as exploring The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences - Greenville campus, axe throwing at Stumpy’s Hatchet House, painting at Paint and Sip, or enjoying live music at the State Theatre, Alleycat Records, or one of our breweries.


Explore one of our parks, head to the Town Common and take a walk along the 9 mile Greenway with views of the beautiful Tar River. Rent a kayak or SUP with one of our local outfitters and enjoy the water! Want a taste of local cuisine? Try our Pitt County Brew & ‘Cue Trail for a self-guided tour of our local breweries and BBQ joints. Grab a PassPork and hit the trail to try the best of Eastern NC craft brews and barbecue at world-famous spots such as B’s BBQ, Skylight Inn and more.


If you need assistance at any point in this process, our team is ready to help!. Read more about our complementary planning services here.

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