Local News

Triangle economy scores with soccer tournaments

Posted November 14, 2010 3:04 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2010 10:01 p.m. EST

— The local economy was the big winner as more than 1,100 soccer teams from across the country gathered in the Triangle for two tournaments this weekend.

Twenty thousand players will compete in the CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series over the next two weeks. The tournament draws soccer families like the Kiernans.

The WRAL Soccer Center, on Perry Road in north Raleigh, was serving as the primary competition site this weekend.

"I have three who play travel soccer, and we have traveled every weekend since Aug. 7," soccer mom Ellen Kiernan, of Wilmington, said.

The series is expected to generate more than 25,000 hotel room nights and pump about $9 million into the local economy.

"These people have to sleep, and they have to eat, so it's money coming from the outside," said Charlie Slagle, CEO of the Capital Area Soccer League.

Meanwhile, the ACC soccer tournament also drew large crowds this weekend.

"Today is two of the best teams in the country – North Carolina and Maryland, No. 3 and No. 4 in the country," Slagle said Sunday. The Tar Heels fell to the Terps, 1-0.

In three weeks, the NCAA women's soccer championship will be played at WakeMed Stadium in Cary. Those games have been sold out for six weeks.