Chicago Snubbed for World Cup Venue Site – 18 Cities Announced
“We are going to announce 18 cities with an average capacity of 78,000 seats adjusted for World Cup,” said Sunil Gulati, president of US Soccer. Gulati was preparing the crowd who had gathered for the US World Cup Bid press conference for the announcement of 18 final cities that could host the World Cup should the US get the tournament for 2018 or 2022. “That would give us over 5 million available tickets,” continued Gulati. “That would be 33% bigger than we had in 1994 when there were fewer games. Far bigger than anyone else could hope to get. The magnitude is enormous.”
The magnitude is enormous and the US still holds the record for the most tickets sold for a World Cup at 3.6 million with an average attendance of 69,00 for the 1994 World Cup, the one and only time the US has hosted the event. The 94 World Cup also holds the record for the highest attended sporting event in the US.
The cities announced were: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
Obviously missing from the list was the third largest city in the US with a population of 2,853,114, Chicago, IL. A city who draws 32.8 million US visitors and approximately 1.15 million foreign visitors per year. The same Chicago that is the Midwest’s largest city and the home to US Soccer itself. Also the home to professional soccer teams, Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and the Women’s Professional Soccer leagues, Chicago Red Stars. A city with a deep history of soccer dating back to when European immigrants and more recently Latino immigrants settled into the city. A town that has hosted many US Men’s and Women’s National Team games. Yes, that same Chicago was left off the list.
Gulati tried to explain the snub by saying “Olympic fatigue” was part of the reason for Chicago’s exclusion. “The Park District had a tough time wrestling with FIFA requirements in short order after the IOC decision,” Gulati said. Meaning that after the cities failed Olympic bid this past fall, they were not able to gather the steam or the energy required to meet all the requirements of the US World Cup bid committee.
Kansas City, Missouri was on the list so the Midwest was not forgotten all together, but should the committee win the bid for the US, Chicago will sadly be missing as what could have been one of the best hosts to the World Cup games.
Please check out Tom Dunmore’s article at Pitch Invasion for more information concerning Chicago’s “Olympic fatigue”.
Click read more to see a chart of the cities and their stadiums.
|USA Bid Final Cities for Inclusion in Bid Book to FIFA for 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup and Related Stadiums
(In alphabetical order)
|Metro Market/City||Stadium|| Estimated Capacity
for FIFA World Cup
|Baltimore||M & T Bank Stadium||71,008|
|Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||66,500|
|Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium||75,364|
|Los Angeles||Rose Bowl
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
|Miami||Land Shark Field||80,240|
|New York/New Jersey||New Meadowlands Stadium||84,046|
|Philadelphia||Lincoln Financial Field||69,111|
|Phoenix/Glendale||University of Phoenix Stadium||71,362|
|San Diego||Qualcomm Stadium||67,700|
|Tampa||Raymond James Stadium||75,000|
|Washington, D.C.||FedEx Field||89,690|