11 states, 30 cities, and 92 teams; welcome to Beer City Cup, our own soccer in the city. Beer City Cup, in it’s 7th year, has indeed become the “Nation’s Largest Adult Soccer Event”.
Spread out throughout our quaint and scenic mountain town over 3 locations, 8v8 games are played amongst 6 divisions, from dawn to dusk. Everyone is playing for the right to play and advance on Sunday, at Memorial Stadium, which becomes home base (and has the beer) for the quarters, semi finals and finals! It’s family friendly, $2 craft beers for the adults, and food trucks for everyone. With the short sided games there’s tons of on-field action, with shots and goals galore. And after the Open Men’s final, when the last trophy is presented…FIREWORKS!!
Asheville Citizen Times wrote a piece this week, interviewing the co-directors David Turner and Eric Usher. Here is an exert from that write up by Claire Hansen:
“The seventh annual Beer City Cup, set for Saturday and Sunday, will feature 1,450 soccer players. Participation has increased every year since the tournament’s debut, growing from 21 teams in 2010 to 92 teams this year. It is the largest adult soccer tournament in the country, according to organizers.
And teams compete for more than bragging rights. Winners in each of the six divisions – Coed, Men’s Open, and Men’s Over 30, Over 40, Over 50 and Over 55 – walk away with cash prizes totaling $11,000.
David Turner, who co-directs the tournament with Eric Usher, said the tournament’s 92-team capacity is a response to an increase in interest.
“Our level of interest is clearly there,” Turner said. “We had allotted 86 spots for this year, but we has 110 register, so we expanded to 92. (The tournament) now has national attention among teams that are willing to travel.”
National attention is right. This year’s Cup hosts teams from 32 cities in 11 states, including Wisconsin, Missouri and New Jersey.
Turner said he thinks the tournament’s popularity is because of the perfect mix of competition, location and the promise of cash prizes.
“The population density reach that Asheville has – within 10 hours we have so many cities and so many people that have access to us,” Turner said. “And of course, Asheville rocks and people want to come here. Money, beer, quality soccer, Asheville – the adult soccer community, the teams that like to travel, this is like their ideal (tournament).”
Turner said the level of competition at Beer City Cup is among the highest, if not the highest, in the nation. This year may be Beer City’s most competitive yet, with five former professional players and handful of national championship and returning Beer City championship-winning teams all signed up to play.
The most competitive divisions have historically been the Co-ed and Open divisions, which attract recent college players, professional hopefuls and retired pros, Turner said.
Turner said the Sunday finals – which draws a huge crowd of soccer and beer lovers – is what makes the Beer City Cup fun and unique.
“Its exciting,” Turner said. “There’s just a lot of action because it’s small sided and there’s lots of shots, lots of goals. Its unique for people who are just playing for fun when there’s 500 or 400 people watching them.”
The tournament also benefits several local sports organizations.”
WANT TO GO?
When: Labor Day weekend, September 3rd-4th. Finals on the 4th.
Where: Games spread out between JBL fields and Memorial Stadium. The finals are held at Memorial Stadium.
Beer: $2 beers from Oskar Blues, Appalachian Brewing Co. Asheville Brewing Co., Catawba, Green Man, Highlands, Hi-Wire, Pisgah and Sierra Nevada served after noon on Sunday at the finals. There is no alcohol allowed at JBL.
Cost: Admission to all games is free.