Soccer tournament boosts economy
 

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The 20th Annual Seaside Soccer Tournament kick-started the local economy this weekend.

Over 300 teams and over 4,000 people from North Carolina and as far as Georgia occupied several fields throughout New Hanover County during the day, and then spent money on hotel rooms, restaurants, and stores after game's end.

Coaches say it isn't all about the soccer. It is about the experience for both the players and adults.

"They will spend some time at the pool at the hotel when we get back," said Winston Salem's Triad Elite coach Sam Mayfield. "I know a lot of girls when shopping last night and went out to eat with their moms. So they got a little chance to do that. Tonight it will be pretty much the same thing. Find a nice restaurant, have some food, and just relax."

The tournament attracted the largest number of teams so far this year. New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority President Kim Hufham estimates the tournament will put approximately $6.6 million into the economy.

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I think these tournaments are great for all the reasons people have listed. They do without a doubt generate economic benefit. I think they should continue to have these events. I am however extremely tired of exaggerated claims. If you go by the story at face value, 6.6 million dollars divided by the 4000 reported guests equals $1650.00 spent per person. Whatever the true amount really is, it is still a positive for all participating in the event and for the area. When something is great to start with, why do people feel the need to overstate it? It is insulting and unnecessary. I hope our area continues to host events such as this.

$6.6 Million dollars and not a peep from the reporter?
That's $1600+ dollars per person man woman and children included.

My goodness these folks are going nuts on these economic impact numbers.

Vog

Dude you comment on everything trying to be clever. Get life

I would imagine Vog is retired and lives very comfortably. This gives him the time to go through the articles and make his comments. One day you should aspire to live the life he does.

I think they meant 4,000 players -- all kids -- meaning often families will come too (though some carpool).

Especially with it being Wilmington at the beach I wouldn't be surprised if for each player there was an average of 2 people travelling with them. Some of the teams were from Wilmington so it was probably more like 10,000 people coming to town instead of 4,000.

Even then, figure on average for each player (+2) two nights in a hotel ($200), 6 meals in town (Friday night through Sunday lunch) ($100), and a tank of gas ($50) and other misc spending ($50), and a per-player sum of $400 suggests a total impact more like $1.6 million.

But these are just back-of-the-envelope calculations. And some of the people coming here will fall in love with Wilmington and come back many times more on vacation, or even decide to move here, but I'll skip trying to estimate the residual effects after this weekend.

actually I don't think your numbers are quite there. First, the teams all pay a fee to get into the tournament (usually around $525+). A small portion of may get sent to the state organization but I'm pretty sure the greater majority of it stays with the local club which uses the money to improve fields, provide scholarships to indigent players, maintain and improve equipment, put on free clinics at community facilities, etc. At 300 teams that's $150K. Then there are referees salaries who are paid all weekend. I'd ball park a guess at a number of local referees who earn a nice little paycheck (lots of them high school and college age) and a number who are brought from out of town who use hotel rooms, eat at restaurants, etc.
Not sure when the last time you were a tourist in wilmington was, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a hotel room here at a decent facility for less than about $125. A quick scan of Expedia showed most of the Hampton Inns, etc running about $170 on weekends. You could go to the DAys Inn for around $99 but based on location and reputation I doubt many families utilized that.
Along with 300 teams you have at least 300 coaches and some of those teams have assistant coaches. Just to continue to underestimate to be safe we'll say only 50 teams have asst. coaches. Teams can usually roster up to 18 players but again to err on the low side we'll say they average 14 kids. That's 4200 kids. When we played travel sports most families traveled together so I think that average of 2 additional people traveling with the kids is an underestimation but we'll go with it. That puts us at 12600. Pull out maybe a third for local teams (think this is high but we'll go with it) Add back in the referees and the state officials as well as club officials who travel with their organizations to keep a watchful eye on their teams and the competition and I think those numbers go way, way up.
Also, everywhere we went this weekend we saw kids out at local events. I saw them outside the movies on Saturday night, I saw them walking in and out of stores at Mayfaire, I even saw them at the farmers market! (BTW this also means they probably stayed downtown at one of the more expensive hotels)
I think $100 on meals is way too low as well. Dinner Friday and Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday-that's 5 meals. You really think a family of three can eat for less than $20 a meal here? Even fast food that would be difficult.
Also if you are coming from a distance and coming to a destination place like Wilmington it is not uncommon for people to come down a day early and spend the day here. Families used to do it all the time when we went somewhere like Florida, Williamsburg, etc.
They may be factoring in such nebulous things such as publicity,future goodwill, etc but I think they really aren't overshooting it that much.
I'm sure the baseball, hockey and other tournaments generate similar amounts if they are similar in size. I sure think this benefits Wilmington way more that $55 Azalea Fest concert tickets for has almost-beens where most of the money goes to perpetuating the event again, expenses to out of town organizations or to the artist. Shouldn't we be encouraging kids to be outside and active?

Now subtract out all local teams say within a 50 to 75 mile distance who commuted.
Its gets persnickety
But the economic impact is highly over stated

Vog

very small number because aside from CFSC very few soccer organizations near here participated because there aren't very many within driving distance from here that I can think of. Most of the players go here, fayetteville or somewhere to the Triangle (Raleigh, Cary, Fuquay, etc) if they live in the rural areas and want to play travel soccer. About the closest association that might field a team in the tourney would be Southport. After that it goes to Fayetteville, Raleigh, Greenville, etc. Most families aren't going to commute 2+ hours each day especially with the chance they could have an 8am game or a late game. I think you are talking maybe 10-15 teams max. Even then their are frequently team lunches and dinners and activities as part of the weekend so they don't come without an impact.

a relevant question. What type of financial incentives did the state have to pony up to get this event here?

nada, zip, zilch. In fact the organizations usually have to pay the county a field rental fee per field per venue. If they used multiple locations (Ogden, Veterans Park, Castle Hayne, Hoggard, etc) the county made a good chunk of change.

This event is held by a local soccer club (CFSC) in Wilmington every year in May -- this was their 20th anniversary having it here. The club also hosts tournaments in August and November and as well as hosting many teams coming here from out of town during their fall and spring seasons.

So to answer your question, I think the answer is "none", other than county fields were used for the matches, which the county maintains.

Regarding your other comment, my two kids playing in the tournament played three teams from Raleigh and teams from Mebane (near Greensboro), Huntersville (near Charloote), and Rutherford (toward the mountains). While there were teams from Wilmington in the tournament, most came from other parts of the state.

in asking the question was to bring light to the fact that tax incentives are not always needed to bring revenue and tax producing activities to the area.

I was trying to point out the absurdity in the extremely high economic impact numbers. There were not 10,000 people here for this tournament I can assure you of that. Why? Because the soccer fields, although in use were not overflowing and they would have to have been with 10,000 people as one poster perceived there to be.
He must be a soccer fan. And good for him too.
It appears to be a very popular sport among the younger set. My girls played for awhile, now my Grandson wants to play as well. It is a great sport and I've noticed at the bottom of the age rung that the coaches are more about fun and learning the game than they are about winning which I find delightfully refreshing.
But we seem to take for granted the numbers spewed by officials of tourism without checking them for accuracy.
And one thing I have found out recently is that economic impact numbers for one time events like soccer tourneys are very suseptable to over statement.
But if thats what they want to believe my goodness by all means go ahead.
My point was the reporter didn't put two and two together and say "What"?
$1650per person spent? Are you crazy? I would hope Christina does a better job in the future...

Vog

No incentives were given to this organization. This tournament and the others CFSC puts on annually bring in tax revenue as well as boost the tourism in this area. I have children that played in this tournament and we travel throughout the state playing in many events like this one. Our county commissioners and city council do not recognize the benefits to our local economy. There were teams turned away from this event due to the lack of fields available. The soccer park is no longer being adequately maintained and most of the comments I heard from out of town people were disappointment with the field conditions. We will not continue to draw people to these events if the powers that be do not support them. Wilmington does not have enough fields to support these events or the amount of people that play soccer locally in the recreation, challenge, classic and adult leagues. Other communities such as Fayetteville, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh and even Myrtle Beach have better facilities than Wilmington.

Your outlook on this would be justifiably skewed. I can appreciate that.
I will point out that Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Fayetteville are missing something Wilmington DOES have.
The beaches.
Thats a powerful attraction to a family as an after soccer game function.
I welcome this soccer tournament and the people that come to it.
You do provide an economic impact to this area. We have a vibrant soccer community here.
The question is - should the "powers that be" support soccer? What are the benny's to supporting soccer? This is where we get back into Christina's story and why she didn't "ask the follow-up question".
Because if YOU are asking for government support then you have to PROVE the economic impact this tourney has on our local economy.
And there are no models that can accurately say for a one time annually event just what that impact MIGHT be.
I'm all for it as we offer more than other soccer cities for after the game entertainment.
All you have to do is prove your point - but when we saw $6.6M and $1350 for every man woman and child? We all kinda said "Nah, THAT person is smoking crack".
A little truth in advertising goes a long way 'round here

Vog