Regional soccer tournament boosts business in Hawaii

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Green as far as the eyes can see, but we’re not talking about the soccer fields.

“The research we’ve done shows this will bring anywhere from $6 to 8 million into the area where we host this tournament, with all the entertainment, hotel rooms, meals,” said Tom Mendoth, of U.S. Youth Soccer.

The $6 to $8 million being generated from the more than 200 teams visiting from 10 different states.

“The biggest difference when we hold this tournament in Hawaii we get a lot of families that come along because they make it a vacation in addition to just coming to a soccer tournament,” Mendoth said.

That means money for local businesses, like Big City diner which is helping feed the crowds.

“A lot of them from California, a lot of them from Colorado, so they’re from all over the us. They’re trying out the li hing pineapple chunks and they’re taking on to that kalua pork sandwich,” said Rona Tam, of Big City Diner.

However, it’s not just the businesses at the Waipio Soccer Complex that will benefit.

“Diamond Head and then the blowhole, and Sandy beach. And then we’re going to go to the North Shore this Thursday and hopefully see some turtles and enjoy shaved ice,” California visitor Keith Gronlund said.

The week long tournament has been in the Aloha state before.

“The local organizing committee is what you see around here with all the tents, and vendors, and all the volunteers. And Hawaii does a fabulous job, this is or third time here. And hopefully not the last time, because I love coming back here,” Mendoth said.

“Obviously Hawaii is a fantastic place to come and play soccer. And the weather has been great, this facility is huge and really nice. And they do a good job here,” Gronlund said.

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