WILMINGTON – If you are a youth soccer fan or player, Wilmington was the place to be this past weekend as the Cape Fear Soccer Association held its 19th Seaside Soccer Classic.
It's great, 19 years here; we have teams and coaches that have been coming every year," said Antonio Saviano, the Director of Player Development for the Cape Fear Soccer Association.
The tournament featured boys teams that range from nine and under to 18 and under ages groups; while the girls age group also started at nine and under but their highest level was 16 and under. This year's event featured 287 teams from the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia and each squad played at least three games during the weekend.
"I heard that a lot of teams come to play, it's very competitive. I'm very pleased with this tournament." explained Stepheney Gerhardt, coach of the Myrtle Beach U10 girls Beach United team.
The Cape Fear Soccer Association estimated that tournament goers would boost the local economy by spending approximately $2.5 million in the area over the weekend.
"It just exposes our area like the beaches and downtown Wilmington to the people, there may be 4,000 people here this weekend," remarked Saviano.
Seven different locations which include: Cape Fear Regional SoccerPlex, Hugh MacRae Athletic Park, Veterans Park, Murray Middle School, Ashley High School, Eaton Fields, Ogden Park, Castle Hayne Park, Trask Middle School hosted games during the two-day event.