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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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