Youth soccer championships bring teams and dollars to Rock HIll

Youth soccer championships bring teams and dollars to Rock HIll


by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 11:38 PM

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The soccer fields at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill have been filled this week with 60 of the best youth soccer teams from across the country, who have come to town to compete in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships.

The teams have come from 20 different states--as far away as California.

Sean Conerty is a member of the team from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"Rock Hill, it's beautiful from what I have seen so far. I love the field. The fields are amazing," Conerty said as he paused from practicing for a moment to look around the Meadows.

Manchester Meadows is a sprawling facility that was built back in 2006 at a cost of nearly $13 million.

"It creates sports tourism. And the economic impact from weekend tournaments and events like this helps our local economy," said Mark Sexton with the Division of Tourism.

It is expected that the soccer championships will bring about $3 million to the local York County economy this year.

"This will be a huge boost for us," said Cody McCall, who owns a sub shop around the corner from the Meadows.

Traffic is expected to be heavy for the rest of the week around the Meadows and businesses like McCall's are hoping for a shot of new customers.

"I'm hoping people are going to notice us and they are going to come out and try our subs," McCall said.

When the Meadows was first proposed there were those who predicted it would be a monumental waste of money, but Sexton said this proves the skeptics wrong.

"To be able to host the premier athletes from youth 14 to 19--boys and girls--means a lot just in pride and it means a lot to our community," he said.

All of the matches that begin Wednesday morning are free, as is parking at the Meadows.

Rock Hill is running free shuttle buses from First Baptist Church on Hood Center Road and from the former Cactus Creek restaurant on Cinema Drive.

Click here for more information on the tournament.