RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina FC (NCFC) Youth in partnership with the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) has released a post-event impact study on the 2020 visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series youth soccer tournament held in November and December of 2020.
The tournament combined to safely host 1,000 teams and more than 16,000 athletes from across 26 states and generated $13.6 million in direct economic impact throughout Wake County and the surrounding area.
The Triangle has a rich history of hosting popular soccer programs and tournaments, but like many things COVID-19 changed the format and procedures needed for these events to safely take place. With the leadership of local officials and the community’s commitment to safety, along with the support of the GRSA, NCFC Youth had the reassurance and confidence needed to safely host out-of-town teams for the visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series.
“NCFC Youth did an unbelievable job planning and executing the 2020 visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series during trying times all while keeping player and team safety a top priority,” said Tori Collins, GRSA director. “This event would not have been possible without the dedicated team at NCFC Youth and support from our local hoteliers, restauranteurs and community.”
As the largest annual youth sporting event held in the Triangle, the showcase brought in more than 1,000 teams from across the country to compete over four weekends of play, as well as approximately 600 college coaches in attendance for recruiting purposes. Players, coaches, and spectators abided by strict safety protocols built on local and state government health regulations resulting in more than 1,500 games played with no transmission of COVID-19 across individuals who attended the event. Matches were played at 20 venues throughout Wake County and surrounding areas, with WRAL Soccer Park serving as the primary competition site.
All in all, NCFC Youth offered a full fall season of soccer for all programs and hosted five youth soccer tournaments, which totaled more than 30,000 scheduled practices and games and represented more than 350,000 times that a player stepped on the field. Through all of these touch points NCFC Youth encountered only 35 COVID-19 positive cases and found no transmission across individuals during the season or tournaments.