Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Welcome to Chapel Hill: Wrexham vs. Chelsea game expected to bring $1.1M to Orange County

Kenan Stadium

About 50,000 visitors are expected to be in Chapel Hill and Carrboro Wednesday for the 2023 FC Series game at Kenan Stadium.

A soccer game between Chelsea FC and Wrexham AFC will be played in Chapel Hill next week, and an influx of 50,000 visitors has local businesses preparing for a level of tourism that is rare in the month of July.

The soccer clubs will play at UNC’s Kenan Stadium as part of the 2023 FC Series, an international soccer exhibition. It will also be the venue’s first international soccer competition.

“While the surge in vehicle traffic will certainly cause some delays, the substantial foot traffic presents a remarkable opportunity for our local businesses to showcase local products and services to a diverse audience,” said the Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro president and CEO Aaron Nelson, in an email to members.

Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau, said the event is also expected to bring $1.1 million into Orange County. This is an estimate of money spent on lodging, airfare, parking, transportation, tickets, and dining.

“Tickets sold out quickly, and hotels sold out quickly,” she said. “And there'll definitely be an economic infusion in Chapel Hill and Carrboro that we have not seen before in July.”

Paolicelli said visitors are expected to travel from all 50 states and internationally to watch the teams compete.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an audience this large in Kenan (Stadium) in July, especially. And it’s not a Tar Heel event,” Paolicelli said.

Chelsea and Wrexham will face off on Wednesday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Caitlyn Yaede was a daily news intern with WUNC for summer 2023. She is a first-year master’s student at UNC-Chapel Hill studying public policy.Caitlyn is from Mooresville and is the summer editor of The Daily Tar Heel, where she will serve as print managing editor for the 2023-24 academic year. She’s worked with Triangle Media Partners and the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media.
More Stories