Local Youth Sports Spur Economic Development
CHARLOTTE, NC- Parents nationwide spend more than $5 billion dollars a year on youth sports. That number is growing and so are the programs offered here.
Since 2009, The Charlotte Soccer Academy has grown to close to 4,000 kids and teens.
"The growth has got to a point where we're bursting at the seams," said Brad Wylde, executive director of The Charlotte Sports Academy.
CSA has expanded their staff and their real estate. They've purchased a three-field facility in Cabarrus County. A six-field facility on dorman road in pineville is in the works.
It's a similar surge for Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation.
"The ultimate race is to keep track of the needs in the community," said Bryan Joyner, who works with youth sports development.
Joyner says the county is also planning new facilities for kids who don't have them close to home.
"Getting to them early to let them know that there's some positive activities that you can get engaged in versus going out and getting in with the wrong crowds or getting into trouble," said Joyner.
The growth of local youth sports doesn't just impact the kids playing and their families. It's also proven to have a positive economic impact on the entire area.
Tapping into the youth sports market means hosting tournaments like the Addidas Cup that brought over 250 teams here last weekend.
"We're talking about a million dollars in economic impact every weekend that we have events of that magnitude. Hotel rooms, people shopping at malls, eating in the restaurants," sais Wylde.
Wylde says more sports facilities means more revenue pumped into the city.