Organizing the Copa America, the South American championship for national teams, in the United States threatens to open the floodgates. Or at least Conmebol and UEFA are talking about holding the
finals of their biggest club championships in U.S. cities.
First, there was talk of Conmebol turning the Libertadores Cup final into a single game and moving it to Miami in 2017
The Brazilian daily Estadao reported
that Conmebol was considering
abandoning the two-leg final that has been used every year since the tournament's launch in 1960. Conmebol's reasons? An "economic solution," according to Estadao.
Now, new UEFA president
has told the Associated Press
to adopt an "open bidding process" for the right to host the Champions League final. How open? He wouldn't mind the game being staged in New York.
"It might be an idea in future but we
have to speak about it," Ceferin said. "To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York. For the fans, it's no problem but we should see. It's a
European competition so let's think about it."
Travel between most of Europe and the United States -- first class all the way -- might not be a problem for the Slovenian Ceferin now that
he is UEFA president, but for most Europeans it's still certainly shorter and more convenient to get from their home to, say, Cardiff, whose Millennium Stadium will host the 2017 final.
Travel within South America isn't always as easy. Miami, a hub for travel to South America, may be convenient for many South American fans but no South American country is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver
SI.com's Grant Wahl reported that U.S. Soccer
had no interest in
green-lighting the Libertadores Cup final's move to Miami.
U.S. Soccer should quickly squash the idea of UEFA opening up the bidding on the Champions League final to U.S. venues.