The “BIG ONE” is back in town June 9-11 as the APT North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC) returns to the resort city for its 24th annual edition. Presented by the City of Virginia Beach, the massive 25-block sandblast is produced by the local non-profit Hampton Roads Soccer Council (HRSC) to continuously develop and maintain its privately operated, 75-acre HRSC Soccer Complex in the city’s Princess Anne Commons.
All Pro Tactical (APT) Director Troy Clifton stated that his Virginia Beach-based company is extremely pleased to continue its affiliation with the largest and most significant amateur and pro/am beach soccer festival in existence. “With our corporate philosophy of ‘From Battlefield To Playing Field,’ we consider this partnership a perfect match of corporate support to our community by enhancing the health and welfare of our athletes of all ages,” Clifton said. All Pro Tactical produces a wide range of clothing and equipment for the Armed Forces, first responders and athletes.
Last year’s festival demographic included 200,000 players, fans and Boardwalk spectators in this largest of all amateur and pro/am beach soccer festivals worldwide. Nearly 70% of visitors surveyed during the 2015 tournament were in the Virginia Beach resort area specifically for the NASSC, generating a positive city economic impact of approximately $11 million.
NASSC has been repeatedly honored by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of its Top 20 summer events, and has been cited by Discovery/ESPN’s “BRAND USA” concept as one of the premier sports tourism attractions in the United States.
Youth and adult athletes will be competing in nearly 2,000 matches between 4th and 35th Streets. The U.S. Open pro/am battle is the festival’s centerpiece at the 24th street beach stadium, where spectators can enjoy top U.S. and international men’s teams vying for a $25,000 cash purse. Team PUGG’s Brazilians will return to defend their 2016 title, with new entry Jaguars from Guyana, a Beach Soccer Worldwide-selected European side, and several West Coast squads among the 16 pro teams. An all-service Military COED Beachmasters Division will be included for active duty and reserve personnel from the same military unit, plus teams from Harborfest’s visiting international vessels.
Rounding out an exciting weekend of beach games, NASSC will offer “SideKick” Beach Field Hockey, Volley Futbol, the COED Flag Football Beach Blastoff, the North American Beach SandLAX Championships, and the North American Beach Wrestling Championships.
NASSC is open to the public at no charge. For more information, call 757-368-4600 or visit www.sandsoccer.com.