soccer300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 8:52am.

Nearly 4,000 soccer players came to New Hanover County this weekend for the 16th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic; a big score for the Cape Fear economy. Two-hundred and ninety soccer squads competed in this weekend's Seaside Classic. Only ten squads are from Wilmington. That means 280 teams came into the Port City looking for a place to play, stay and eat; despite the mud puddles on the field. "We've helped the local economy. Staying in hotels and eating at local restaurants and entertainment type things," said High Point soccer parent, Tom Sypniewski. The High Point soccer coach Chris Glover said, "We went all over. Some went to the beach, some went to the hotel pool and we ate at places like Subway and Cracker Barrel. We were all over the map. Judging by the size of this tournament a lot of other people did as well." Tournament director Antonio Saviano said the Seaside soccer event is responsible for more than it's fair share of hotel occupancy this weekend. "I would say about 4,000 to 4,200 rooms. There were about 4,200 families that came in for this weekend," he said. The Cape Fear Convention and Visitors Bureau does not keep score on the field, but they did figure out the economic impact for this event. "6 million dollars for New Hanover County. That's a lot of money and that's why we like it," added Saviano. The soccer players muddied their way through 40 fields at seven different locations throughout New Hanover County.

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