The Soccer Tournament Returns To Cary; Will Online Sports Betting Be Live For Kick Off?

Cary will host The Soccer Tournament again in 2024 after a successful inaugural event earlier this year. The event attracted 32 teams and more than 400 soccer players to WakeMed Soccer Park for the debut event in June, which had a $1 million top prize.

The event, which was a welcome hit for the community and sports fans in the state could be even more popular if it qualifies for North Carolina sports betting and if it has odds with NC online sportsbooks.

According to the city recreational website, the prize money for the 7-on-7 soccer tournament will be increased in 2024. The Soccer Tournament will be held June 5-10, 2024, for its second annual event.

“Events like The Soccer Tournament are what Cary was built for. We’re thrilled to welcome back this exceptional event to our community, further solidifying Cary’s status as a premier destination for sports enthusiasts,” said Mayor Harold Weinbrecht.

The event organizers have announced that the second tournament will feature a new women’s team field of competition. According to the city, the event, which attracted over 2,500 spectators, illustrated “Cary’s commitment to top-tier sporting experiences for visitors and players.”

Female soccer fans and players will be provided a special treat with the presence of  US Women, an all-star team of former high-level competitive international players organized by former U.S. Women’s National Team member Heather O’Reilly. There will also be at least two levels for women’s teams to play in the tourney.

Passes (ticketing) for all sessions of The Soccer Tournament can now be purchased online.

Will Online Sports Betting be Live in Time for The Soccer Tournament?

The unique tournament allows sports fans to see top-level “football” (soccer) players in beautiful Cary, which has a small-town feel despite being a part of the Raleigh-Durham metro area.

But will fans be able to bet online on the event?

Due to the timing of the sportsbook licensing process, the North Carolina Lottery Commission has stated that it does not expect to have its sports betting market active by the 2024 Super Bowl on Feb. 11. By law, the market must be launched by June 14, 2024, roughly a week after The Soccer Tournament.

It’s highly probable that NC will have legal online sports betting live before The Soccer Tournament kicks off. The state will likely wish to get sportsbooks online to start earning tax revenue as soon as possible. Also, to prepare for the boon that will happen in September, when the NFL and the college football seasons begin. Since the state has not set a target launch date yet, NCSharp has projected five potential launch dates for NC sports betting.

Will North Carolinians be allowed to bet on the teams in the tournament?

The NC Sports Wagering Catalog has yet to be finalized. That document will outline every sport and sporting event that can be legally bet on in the Tar Heel State.

The wagering catalog will include major professional sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, and MLS soccer. But “one-off” special events like The Soccer Tournament, with large cash prizes are not necessarily automatically included. However, The Soccer Tournament in Cary is much like a PGA or WTA event, and it’s possible it will be eligible for betting.

While it won’t factor into this year’s tournament, WakeMed Soccer Park, home of the NWSL’s NC Courage, is also one of a handful of pro sports venues in the state that can build a retail sportsbook on or near the premises. If The Soccer Tournament becomes a fixture of the North Carolina summer sports season, fans attending matches could eventually have an opportunity to bet on the matches from the comfort of a retail sportsbook on site.

Recent studies that show a heightened interest in sports betting by women could bode well for such events and the likelihood of odds.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.