Wilmington, NC: On May 18-19, travel industry partners in Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach will welcome the 26th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic, a youth soccer tournament sanctioned by the N.C. Youth Soccer Association. 

Hosted by the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC, the Seaside Soccer Classic provides a fun, safe, and competitive opportunity for teams of all levels. The goal of the event is to provide players, from ages 9 to 19 years old, a competitive end-of-season tournament in a community that offers the families a beautiful weekend surrounded by sun, sand, and the Wilmington Riverwalk.

According to Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC Assistant Recreation Manager Courtney McKeon, this year’s tournament will host over 250 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Each team consists of an average of 15 players. All but 50 local teams will travel from out of town. Each of the 3,800 players is expected to be accompanied by multiple family members. Additionally, 300 coaches and 150 referees are expected to accompany the teams. During the two-day tournament, the majority of the participants and their families will stay at a variety of hotels and shop, dine and play in local establishments.

“Based on participant numbers provided by event organizers, the 26th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic will generate approximately $1.1 million in direct visitor spending in New Hanover County,” states Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “Using a conservative 2.5 multiplier, the total economic impact of this tournament will be approximately $2.8 million.”

Sponsors include Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Traveling Teams, Wilmington KOA, and N.C. Youth Soccer Association. This year’s Seaside Soccer Classic will take place at several soccer fields in New Hanover County, including: Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park, Hugh MacRae Athletic Park/Roland Grise, Veterans Park, Eaton Fields/Ogden Park, and Northern Regional Park.

“Despite a difficult fall season for our area, due to Florence, we are looking forward to bringing thousands of families back to Wilmington,” states Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC Executive Director Carson Porter. “The economic impact leading into peak tourist season always provides such a positive experience and encourages soccer families to visit our beaches and downtown throughout the summer, post-soccer season. This event would not be possible for the club without the support from our local hotels and restaurants, New Hanover County Parks & Recreation, and the City of Wilmington.”

“Hosting a regional youth soccer championship provides Wilmington and our island beaches with a great opportunity to showcase the destination to families who are traveling from our top visitor feeder markets,” said Hufham. “We hope the players and their families enjoy their visit and return for future tournaments and vacations.”

For more details about the 26th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic, visit wilmingtonhammerheadsyouth.com, or email courtney@wilmingtonhammerheadsyouth.com. To download a free Official Visitors Guide to Wilmington, NC’s river district and the beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, visit WilmingtonAndBeaches.com.

The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County that stimulates economic development through the promotion of travel and tourism. 


Note to Media: To arrange interviews and photo ops, please contact Carson Porter directly at 910-747-0607 or carson@wilmingtonhammerheadsyouth.com.



Connie Nelson
Wilmington CVB
910-341-4030 x120