[WORLD CUP 2018/2022] The USA Bid Committee announced the 18 cities that it will submit as a part of its package to FIFA on May 14 in its bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. The 21 stadiums selected average a capacity of 77,000 and showcase the construction of modern stadiums that has taken place since the USA hosted the 1994 finals.
Only two stadiums -- the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl
-- used in 1994 were chosen and neither would be considered a shoo-in
to make the final cut if the USA won its bid.
The surprise omission is Chicago, home of U.S. Soccer and site of the
2007 Gold Cup final -- not to mention home of U.S. President Barack Obama and the USA's third
Four '94 venues -- Chicago, Detroit,
Orlando and San Francisco Bay Area -- were passed over in the cut from
26 to 18 markets.
The other four cities that didn't make the cut are Charlotte,
Cleveland, Jacksonville and St. Louis.
According to Sunil Gulati, the
Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer, the
venues give the USA the ability to sell more than 5 million tickets for
the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
"In these economic times," added Gulati at Tuesday's news conference in
New York, "to have 18 world-class
stadiums without public funds for stadiums or infrastructure gives us a
The final decision by FIFA's executive committee is scheduled for Dec.
'94 VENUES. Besides Los
Angeles (Rose Bowl and Coliseum in its bid) and Dallas (Cotton Bowl and
Dallas Cowboys Stadium in its bid), three other '94 cities are 2018/22
New York/New Jersey should again be the site of one of the venues, at
the yet-to-open New Meadowlands Stadium. FedEx Field replaces RFK
Stadium as the Washington facility, while Gillette Stadium was built to
replace '94 venue Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Regarding Chicago, Gulati acknowledged "some Olympic fatigue" as a
factor in its failure to make the cut. Chicago was a losing finalist
for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
Gulati also said that the Chicago Park District, which runs Soldier
Field, "had a tough time wrestling with FIFA requirements in short
order after the IOC decision."
As for the others:
-- The antiquated Stanford Stadium, the Bay Area site for USA' 94, has
since been renovated but its capacity was reduced considerably. Unless
the San Francisco 49ers find a Bay Area venue and build a new stadium
soon, the Bay Area will miss out on the 2018/2022 finals.
-- Orlando beat out Tampa as the '94 Florida venue. Tampa made the
short list for 2018/2022, as did Miami, but not Orlando. Gulati
acknowledged Miami's Dolphin Stadium, built by Joe Robbie, as the first major
stadium built with soccer dimensions in mind. It missed out in 1994
because the arrival of baseball posed a conflict. (In 2012, the
baseball Marlins will leave Dolphin Stadium, which has gone through
several names, into a 37,000-seat baseball-only stadium in the Little
Havana section of Miami.)
-- Detroit's Silverdome, no longer used for major events, was an
innovation in 1994: the first domed stadium to host a World Cup match.
The U.S. short list includes several domed stadiums or facilities with
Five of the proposed 2018/22 facilities have retractable roofs or
domes. One of the factors that work in their favor is that they would
allow for games to be played at any time of day without regard to the
One of the drawbacks of the 1994 World Cup was that most games were
played in midday in the summer heat.
CRITERIA. The USA Bid
Committee evaluated each city's bid individually based on 21 key
criteria in order to meet FIFA's bidding requirements.
-- They ranged from market size, geographical location, climate,
existing hotel space and transportation to the availability of adequate
training sites, distances between facilities, diversity and its ability
to provide a unique fan experience.
-- Also of primary consideration was the history of each city related
to soccer, attraction as a tourist destination and history hosting
major sporting or cultural events.
-- The stadiums affiliated with each city were judged based on its
capacity, premium facilities, pitch size and overlay.
-- The technical bid presented by each local organizing committee was
crucial to the selection process as well, demonstrating the level of
support and coordination between local government, civic authorities
and the community.
-- Also included in the evaluation was the marketing campaign and
sustainability plan of each local organizing committee along with the
WORLD CUP 2018/2022 VENUES:
CITY ... STADIUM ... CAPACITY
Atlanta, Georgia Dome (dome-turf), 70,868
Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium
Boston, Gillette Stadium
Dallas, Cowboys Stadium
(retractable roof-turf), 91,600
Dallas Cotton Bowl (turf),
Denver, Invesco Field, 75,165
Houston, Reliant Stadium
(retractable roof), 76,000
Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium
(retractable roof-turf), 66,500
Kansas City, Arrowhead Stadium,
Los Angeles, Rose Bowl 89,000
Los Angeles, Memorial Coliseum,
Miami, Dolphin Stadium, 80,240
Nashville, LP Field, 75,000
New York/New Jersey, New
Meadowlands Stadium, 84,046
Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial
Phoenix/Glendale, University of
Phoenix Stadium (retractable roof), 71,362
San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium,
Seattle, Qwest Field (turf),
Seattle Husky Stadium (turf),
Tampa, Raymond James Stadium,
Washington, D.C., FedEx Field,