WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A youth sports tournament is making millions for the local economy. Teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia came together in Wilmington this weekend united by one game.
This weekend’s Seaside Soccer Classic brought into town more than 300 teams and thousands of families to the Cape Fear region. Many of them enjoyed things other than soccer, like going to the beach.
Outside of the beach, these participants helped not only to make this tournament one of the biggest soccer tournaments in the state, but also one of the largest events Wilmington has to offer.
Players weren’t the only ones scoring at the Seaside Classic. So did the local economy.
“This weekend’s numbers were great,” said Micah Bacon, assistant general manager at Wild Wing Cafe. “We saw a definite increase in business with the soccer tournament.”
It was the same story up the street at Brixx Pizza in Mayfaire.
“Right now we’ve definitely seen an influx right away,” Brixx GM Brian Boyce said. “This typically starts mid-June. Right now we’re starting to see that influx already because of the Seaside Classic.”
The Seaside Classic is estimated to generate approximately $2.2 million. Restaurants and hotels alike reaped the benefits.
“This weekend we’ve been sold out consistently as much as the other hotels in town,” Michele Feorene at Homewood Suites said.
Soccer families also came out to watch the Hammerheads Saturday night.
“That was our biggest crowd of the season thus far,” said Matt Sadler, who’s handles group ticket sales for the Hammerheads. “We had 4,732 fans (saturday) night, so definitely a big attendance.”
The Seaside Classic has grown since it first started. This year there were approximately 4,800 participants.