As you have to know by now, the U.S. is angling to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. With the announcement of host nations for both Cups coming this December, each potential host country is announcing which cities will host the matches. England announced their list of 12 cities – including London, Manchester and Liverpool – back in December. The United States announced their cities this afternoon.
Narrowed down from an initial list of 58 different cities/stadiums in consideration, the USA Bid Committee cut that list down to 27 and then eventually, with today's announcement, the final 18. Per USA Bid Committee Executive Director David Downs:
â‡¥"Just by virtue of the quality of our cities and stadiums, it was very difficult to reduce the field to the maximum of 18 established by FIFA. In fact, we could have submitted 24 cities and stadiums, making it possible for the United States to hold two World Cups simultaneously.â‡¥
â‡¥"We consider it a meaningful indicator of the significant growth of soccer in this country that we can put forth such a technically sound bid without four of our cities that served as hosts for the first FIFA World Cup™ in the United States in 1994. The emergence of passionate followings for the sport and state-of-the-art venues throughout the country has strengthened our ability to put together a truly national bid to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022."â‡¥
The cities, listed alphabetically, are:
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C.
Several cities currently have Major League Soccer, so the tie-in to the current professional franchises will provide an automatic base of soccer fans in the area. Curious is the omission of Chicago, which recently lost the bid for the 2016 Olympics. International sporting events just aren't going Chicago's way right now. Charlotte, which has hosted the NCAA College Cup, was also a notable omission with cities like Nashville and Tampa Bay making the cut. While the World Cup Final was in Pasadena in 1994, expect the next Final, should the U.S. secure a bid, to go to New York's new version of the Meadowlands, Arizona (host of everything lately) or Dallas, where Jerry Jones built his building with events like the World Cup Final in mind.
Regardless of who hosts the Final, we now know which cities will get some World Cup games in 2018 or 2022. It's worth noting that, per the AP, the 18 cities include 21 stadiums, with around 12 to be selected if the bid is successful. And the U.S. is getting one of the bids – we have to, right? To make sure, sign the petition. And somebody save me a seat at all the East Coast venues.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.