‘Game on:’ Day 2 of North American Sand Soccer Championships underway in VB

'Game on:' Day 2 of North American Sand Soccer Championships underway in VB

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After a scare earlier this week because of the Canadian wildfires, organizers of the North American Sand Soccer Championships said this year’s event in Virginia Beach couldn’t be off to a better start.

More than a hundred sand soccer teams hit the beach starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. It was day two of the championships which include professional and amateur teams.

Thousands watches the games and visited vendors on the boardwalk between 15th Street and 34th Street.

For Lauren Bland, who is in charge of the whole thing, it’s a relief she said she hasn’t felt in a few years.

“This is our first normal year. In 2021, we were the first event to open at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront coming out of COVID and then last year in 2022 we got hit with a monsoon on Sunday that washed out almost the entire beach but we returned to play,” Bland said. “Then, this year, we’re setting up the beach, we’re hearing all this smoke coming down from Canada. Again we’re crossing all our fingers and toes, but thankfully mother nature was on our side and we are game on.”

Between packed hotels, parking lots and restaurants, she said the sand soccer championships pump more than $15 million into the Virginia Beach economy.

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