Cary, NC – Cary is the home of the North Carolina Courage, the only team to win both the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship and NWSL Shield in the same year. Now, the 2018 champions will have the opportunity to reclaim their title at home as Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park will host the NWSL Championship this October 2019.
Championship at Home
The NWSL Championship will take place on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4 PM. This will be the first time Sahlen’s Stadium hosts the championship, though last year it hosted one of the NWSL playoff matches, resulting in a record attendance for the soccer stadium.
“It’s always great to have a marquee event right in our backyard,” said Marco Rosa, director of communications for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. “We’ve proven that we can host big events here. With the championships, all eyes of the soccer world will be on us.”
In addition to hosting a NWSL playoff match, Sahlen’s Stadium has hosted the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, men’s and women’s national teams and later this year, the stadium will host the second International Championship Cup Women’s Tournament, which the Courage won last year.
“This will also be great for our community. We wanted to give the fans the experience of seeing their home team win the championship last year,” Rosa said. “I can’t speak for the players but this would likely be an extra incentive to make it to the finals to play in front of the home crowd.”
Nationally Recognized Venue
Sahlen’s Stadium sold out during last year’s NWSL playoffs match and Rosa said the team management is confident they can replicate that level of attendance with the championship game.
“It creates a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. “It’s an intimate stadium too, so there are no bad seats.”
Rosa said the stadium is also an attractive venue to play for other teams, with players regularly commenting on the quality of the grass field.
“Everyone loves to come and play here. We have one of the best pitches in either league,” he said. “Whenever a visiting team comes here, before going to the locker room, the players come to the field to look at the grass, test it out and learn what it’s like.”
Not only has Sahlen’s Stadium hosted teams from both men’s and women’s leagues, as well as national teams, but they have also hosted professional men’s teams from the Premiere League and Liga MX and will host top European professional women’s teams later this year.
“The league recognizes what we can do,” he said.
The NWSL Championship will take place on Sunday, October 27, 2019. Sahlen’s Stadium in WakeMed Soccer Park is located at 101 Soccer Park Dr.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree, NWSL and Andy Mead.