|Former names||State Capital Soccer Park (2001-2002) |
SAS Soccer Park (2002-2007)
|Location||Cary, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Operator||Town of Cary|
|Construction cost||$14.5 million (plus $6.3 million expansion)|
|Carolina Courage (WUSA) (2001-2003)|
NC State Wolfpack (NCAA) (2002-2007)
North Carolina FC (USLC) (2007-present)
Raleigh Flyers (AUDL) (2015-present)
North Carolina Courage (NWSL)
North Carolina FC U23 (USL2)
WakeMed Soccer Park is a major soccer complex in Cary, North Carolina, United States. Originally opened in 2002 as the home of the Carolina Courage of the WUSA, WakeMed Soccer Park is now the home to North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League and the North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League. The North Carolina State Wolfpack men's and women's teams of the ACC play select matches there and the complex regularly hosts major tournaments such as the NCAA College Cup, the ACC Soccer Championships, and the NCHSAA high school state soccer finals.
The soccer complex consists of a purpose-built, soccer-specific main stadium, two lighted practice fields, and four additional fields. The main stadium and the two lighted fields (2 & 3) are all FIFA international regulation size (120 by 75 yards (110 m × 69 m)). The main stadium seats 10,000. Field 2 also has 1,000 permanent bleacher seats.
The complex also sports a full-length, nationally recognized cross-country course and houses the offices of Triangle Professional Soccer.
SAS Institute, a Cary-based software company, had naming rights to the soccer park through June 30, 2007 with the option to extend their naming rights for an additional three years. On September 27, 2007, the Town of Cary announced that SAS had not exercised their option on the naming rights and that WakeMed Health & Hospitals had purchased the naming rights to the stadium. Effective January 1, 2008, the stadium became known as WakeMed Soccer Park. The naming rights agreement with Cary is good for three years and cost $300,000 per year.
On March 31, 2017, it was announced that Sahlen Packing Company had acquired naming rights to the main stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, thus becoming Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Sahlen's will pay $400,000 over 5 years for the rights, with $100,000 going to the town of Cary and the rest to the North Carolina Courage.
WakeMed Soccer Park opened in May 2002 as State Capital Soccer Park. The park is on 150 acres (0.61 km2) that the state of North Carolina has leased to Wake County. Money to build the soccer park came from $14.5 million in county-wide hotel room and prepared food and beverage taxes. The Town of Cary assumed responsibility for operations and maintenance in 2004 from Capital Area Soccer League. On January 26, 2006, the Town of Cary council amended its lease to allow it to sublet the property to Triangle Professional Soccer through the year 2011 for the exclusive promotion of professional soccer and lacrosse events at the complex.
In November 2011, the Town of Cary kicked off a $6.3 million expansion project. The finished expansion added 3,000 permanent seats to the 7,000-seat stadium, 1,500 of the seats going to the north end zone and the other 1,500 to upper-level stands on the east side of the stadium. Also added on the east side were a new three-story building to provide restrooms, concessions, and access to the additional seating from the third floor. Team locker rooms were relocated to the ground level of the new structure to allow players direct access to the stadium from midfield and direct access from their team bus to the locker rooms.
The grounds also host multiple high school cross-country races. Including dual meets, high school conference championships, Mid-East Region Championship, and the Nike Team Southeast National Regional meets. The course starts and ends behind the practice fields and runs along the perimeter of the grounds. It is known to give personal bests even with a difficult hill which must be run twice. The course record for the 5k distance is 14:32.2 by Brodey Hasty at the 2016 Great American Cross Country Festival. In recent years it has held the Atlantic Coast Conference's conference championship.