SEC Soccer Tournament Sets Attendance Records, Provides Local Economic Boost

November 8, 2022

The SEC Soccer Tournament held at Escambia County’s Ashton Brosnaham Park had far exceeded expectations by the time South Carolina upset the No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide Sunday afternoon.

The bleachers were full of fans, aisles in the bleachers were full of fans and the areas around fences were standing room only. It was absolutely packed inside the stadium off 10 Mile Road, as were the parking lots.

According to the SEC, there were 3,025 in attendance — the largest crowd for a game in the 37 years of SEC women’s soccer. The overall tournament also set a SEC record with 10,450 total fans.

By Monday, Escambia County Parks and Recreation Director Michael Rhodes was meeting with his staff to determine how to handle larger crowds next year;  Escambia County will host the SEC Soccer Tournament through 2024,

And officials were taking stocking of what are expected to  be long-range economic benefits for Escambia County and Pensacola for the tournament that aired live on the SEC Network.

“The heads and beads is absolutely invaluable; we’ll be able to put a price tag on what kind of economic impact that brings,” Rhodes said. “But sometimes what you can’t put a price tag on is the nine games of live coverage on the SEC Network…showcasing Pensacola and Escambia County.”

“I think the opportunity for Pensacola and Northwest Florida to be showcased on the SEC Network as a partner with ESPN is huge for our community,” Pensacola Sports CEO Ray Palmer said. “We hope this gives us the opportunity to show people Pensacola and give them a reason to come back for something else, like world class beaches, history and downtown.”

And there’s another benefit from the tournament, the parks director said. Now that the tournament is packed up and gone for a year, upgrades to the facilities at Ashton Brosnaham remain to benefit local residents. There’s new turf on the stadium field, enhancements on the practice field, new fencing around the perimeter of the field along with other improvements.

“We made a lot of enhancements to brighten the facility. The SEC is here one week out of the year, but for 365 days a year our job is to serve the residents and the soccer community, Rhodes said. “We know they (local players) are going to be proud, and they’ll always be able to say that they’re playing at the venue that the SEC Soccer Tournament was held at.”

RELATED: photos, click to enlarge.


3 Responses to “SEC Soccer Tournament Sets Attendance Records, Provides Local Economic Boost”

  1. SueB on November 9th, 2022 10:22 am

    Close the SW Sports Complex on Bauer Rd and move the entire site to this park.

  2. fun to watch on November 8th, 2022 7:01 pm

    I glad to see how well received this was. We happened to be in Orange Beach about this time last year, and happened by the stadium there. Saw a few minutes of the games on TV, and the crowds were sparse…looked like just family was there.

    My only thoughts…how awesome would it have been for the final to be played in Wahoo’s stadium…amazing how that locale would have looked on TV.

    Not sure how a futbol field compares to a football field, so not sure how well it would have fit.

  3. Robert Bruner on November 8th, 2022 4:18 am

    As one of the few lifelong Gamecocks in the area… GO COCKS!!!

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