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Select World Cup Venues

The U.S. Soccer Federation has come up with 70 stadiums in more than 50 areas for consideration to host World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022. (With that many included, the question is not who is on the list, but who isn't. What? No Nissan Pavilion?!)

Take a look at the candidates and guidelines here. How about Green Bay? Virginia Tech? Penn State? Tell me which 12 would be at the very top of your list.

By Steve Goff  |  April 9, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  USSF  
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Comments

If they use Lane Stadium, they would HAVE to play 'Enter Sandman' when the US team came out. Hokie tradition.

Posted by: daandre3 | April 9, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm too rushed to list 12, but it would have to include LP stadium in Nashville. Great pitch, plenty wide, large, enthusiastic pro-USA crowd, great town. (And I could stay at my son's house.)

Posted by: b18bolo | April 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

How in the world would derelict RFK be fit to host soccer matches in 2018 or 2022?

Posted by: evwill | April 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Here is another question to pose....

Should the US bid keep the games in one region of the country instead of spreading it all over the place? I say yes, make it east coast or west coast only.

Posted by: martincr70 | April 9, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

My 12...

Washington, D.C. - Redskins New Stadium
Boston, Mass. - Gillette Stadium
Chicago, Ill. - Soldier Field
Dallas, Texas - Dallas Cowboys New Stadium
Indianapolis, Ind. - Lucas Oil Stadium
Los Angeles, Calif. - Rose Bowl
New York, N.Y. - Meadowlands Stadium
Phoenix, Ariz. - University of Phoenix Stadium
Houston, Texas - Reliant Stadium
Nashville, Tenn. LP Field
Tampa, Fla. - Raymond James Stadium
San Fran/Bay Area - New 49ers Stadium (?)

Posted by: Kev29 | April 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Will: "Hey Victor, did you see that list of 70 stadiums US Soccer put together."

Victor: *sputters while choking on coffee* "70 stadiums!"

Will: "Yeah, I see what you mean. Martha, can you get me the number of Interstate Van lines, please?"

Posted by: joedoc1 | April 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't narrow it down to 12, so here are my favorites:

Tallahassee, South Bend, Roanoke, Omaha, Madison, Harrisburg, Greenville, Green Bay, Fayetteville, the Columbias (MO and SC), Charlotte, Champaign, and Cedar Rapids.

I have so many fond memories of the 94 World Cup matches in those cities.

I'm sorry to say this, I really am, but submitting that list plays into the stereotype of an America that does things through sheer brawn and insults the intelligence of the rest of the world. "Yee-Haw! We have 70 really big stadiums. Each one the size of a cattle ranch!" I would expect better from an economics professor at an Ivy-league school in a cosmopolitan city. I'm looking at you Sunil.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Should the US bid keep the games in one region of the country instead of spreading it all over the place? I say yes, make it east coast or west coast only.

Posted by: martincr70 | April 9, 2009 11:52 AM

I don't think that's feasible. But they could try to keep groups in one region, as they did in '94. For instance, Ireland was based in New York and played two of their group matches there. Their fans stayed in NY with one side trip to Orlando if they wanted to see the Mexico match.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Put two groups in each of 4 regions (3 stadiums in each region):
DC, NY, Boston
KC, Chicago, Indy
Dallas, Houston, New Orleans
LA, San Fran, Seattle

Posted by: DCWhoDat | April 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Yee-Haw! We have 70 really big stadiums. Each one the size of a cattle ranch!"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 11:58 AM

:-) Really big stadiums, with teeny tiny pitches!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 9, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Roanoke and I have to say it is absolutely hilarious to see it on a list of potential markets hosting World Cup matches. The Fed is obviously just going for raw numbers to impress and hoping no one is paying attention to the details.

Posted by: ricky_b | April 9, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@martincr70: No. We are the United States of America.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yale Bowl? Seriously? And I know it's the World Cup, but would Lambeau really sell out?

From personal experience, I think Williams-Bryce and Lane Stadia would be excellent soccer venues, as the stands are steep and seem on top of the field (rather than Rose bowl or Notre Dame Stadium).

Ultimately, I want to see stadia selected in markets with soccer (or possible expansion) to increase attendance figures post WC.

Posted by: notafembot | April 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Lane is wide enough, but it does have fantastic turf. I'm not sure I could control myself though if I got to see a World Cup game played there...

Posted by: VTUnited | April 9, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

And I know it's the World Cup, but would Lambeau really sell out?

Posted by: notafembot | April 9, 2009 12:08 PM

Yes - absolutely. People would love to see the world's greatest sporting event in such a legendary stadium. People would fly in from all over the country/world for matches there.

I don't think the playing surface is wide enough - but it's a neat thought.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 9, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

My 12:

1. FedEx Field - FINAL
2. Rose Bowl/New LA NFL Ground
3. U. of Phoenix Stadium
4. New Dallas Stadium
5. Soldier Field
6. Qwest Field
7. New Giants Stadium
8. Gillette Stadium
9. Lincoln Financial Field
10. Reliant Stadium
11. Raymond James Stadium
12. Invesco/Georgia Dome/Arrowhead

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

That's a fun, and funny, list to read.

I love going to Lane Stadium for football, but it is too narrow - by far - for soccer. il Bruce even refused to play there when he was coaching at UVA and the Tech athletic admin wanted to boost attendance and play in Lane.

But the list really shows the logistical advantage the US has to holst a World Cup. The number of facilities dwarfs any other country - and nothing new needs to be built...

...less money on construction is more for Sepp, Jack, Chuck and friends!

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

One problem with university sites in relatively remote communities is the relative lack of hotel accommodations. Pointyball fans are used to staying in a hotel an hour or two away and driving in on Saturday morning. However, I don't think FIFA would find that very attractive, especially given that first-round matches would be two or three times per week at each venue, so that visitors from far away, most of whom are not familiar with the region, would have to make the long trip repeatedly.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Jordan-Hare!!!!1!

Posted by: PEddy | April 9, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I keep saying that the US should schedule Mexico at Lambeau in the early (or late) part of the year for a World Cup qualifier! But I doubt it's wide enough for a good FIFA pitch.

I'd take the Big House (err, U of M*ch*g*n Stadium) off that list, just on general principles. :) But dang, could you imagine playing World Cup games at The Swamp (Gainesville) or Neyland Stadium? Dang.

I think my 12 would be:

Meadowlands
Gillette
FedEx
Lucas Oil
Soldier
Arrowhead
Cowboys
LP
Reliant
Qwest
U of Phoenix
LA Coliseum

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 9, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry to say this, I really am, but submitting that list plays into the stereotype of an America that does things through sheer brawn and insults the intelligence of the rest of the world."
Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 11:58 AM

Calm down this list was not anything submitted to FIFA its purely the Fed saying to every stadium with more than X seats you are eligible to apply to the federation to be included in our World Cup bid. Its up to those stadiums to put forth a proposal that the Federation likes (stadium ammenities, sufficient hotel rooms, areas for outdoor viewing parties, etc) and therefore decides to include its official submissions to FIFA. As an example RFK probably has no chance of being included in the official bid unless their proposal includes many millions of dollars in renovations (or tearing it down and building a new stadium for say the Redskins).

Posted by: mfrahm | April 9, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

i don't understand why US Soccer would have some one who is so hated and considered a war criminal outside of this country (Henry Kissinger) be the face of their bid for the World Cup

Posted by: joe_hill | April 9, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

How about OSU football stadium in Columbus, Ohio?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The University of Nebraska's stadium would be perfect. Of course, the keeper would have to sit in row 3 in the endzone because the field isn't long enough, but that's just a minor detail.

Go Big Red!

Posted by: Hoost | April 9, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

How about OSU football stadium in Columbus, Ohio?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 9, 2009 12:52 PM

The Shoe is awesome for Buckeye football (105,000 screaming members of Buckeye Nation...BTDT), but it's waaaay too narrow for a FIFA pitch, unfortunately.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 9, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't particularly care where anything is played except the final. And that should be in FedEx. But only because I live 20 mintes away. It's also one of the biggest, if not the biggest, East Coast stadium. EST time is generally better for these types of things since a good deal of the teams are going to come from Europe and that land mass, and it'll be better timing for them.

RFK is a phenomenal stadium for soccer (bouncy bleachers anyone?) but I don't think it would handle a crowd for a huge match up like Italy- Spain or anything like that. Put a US first round game in there, as an nod to USA fans who love that stadium, but make it against a lower flight team. Or Mexico ;)

Posted by: mswiley2508 | April 9, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people don't use proper capitalization and punctuation.

but i digress...

I remember being skeptical about the Detroit stadium back in '94. But if memory serves, attendance was strong and the Germans loved the grass that was brought in (connecting pentagon shapes, I believe...)

Posted by: joedoc1 | April 9, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: joe_hill | April 9, 2009 12:44 PM

"Oh, there's a meeting at the courthouse at eight o'clock tonight
You just come in the door and take the first turn to the right
Be careful when you get there, we hate to be bereft
But we're takin' down the names of everybody turning left!

Oh, we're the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a communistic plot!"

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 9, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

assuming a few things:

a: that the event will be played in late June-July.
b: that all relevant stadia can be adjusted to hold grass and a regulation pitch.

my four groups:
East: Gillette, Jets/Giants whatever it's called, FedEx/new Skins Stadium
SE: Georgia Dome, Dolphin, Cowboys
MW: Browns, Soldier Field, Ford Field
West: Rose Bowl, Qwest, Quallcomm

I tried to group games to make travel between them somewhat reasonable. Obviously, the SE is hardest to do here, so one option is to drop Gillette and move BofA or Georgia Dome into the east region, but no one will stiff Boston on this. then add a place like the SuperDome to the SE. Places I would like to see included that I couldn't figure out a reasonable way: Mile High, University of Phoenix, Lucas Oil (could sub for Ford, I suppose.) yes, it's a bit heavy to the East, but then so's population and logistics.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | April 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@mfrahm: Point taken. I will withhold my outrage until USSF submits a list to FIFA. Still though (and I calmly type this) posting that list just opens USSF up to ridicule.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Detroit had great crowds in '94. USA-Switzerland was obviously sold out, but the atmosphere paled in comparison to Brazil-Sweden was unreal. And that was a really dull game--both teams advanced through a listless tie, as I remember.

I vaguely remember the grass being pretty slick in the dome though. The humidity was awful.

Posted by: benonthehill | April 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Gillette (Boston)
(New) Meadowlands
Lincoln Finc. (Philadelphia)

Soldier (Chicago)
Ford (Detroit)
LP (Nashville)

(New) Cowboys (Dallas)
Reliant (Houston)
Edward Jones (St. Louis)

Rose Bowl (L.A.)
U. of Phoenix (Phoenix)
Qwest (Seattle)

*ducks*

Posted by: B_A_ | April 9, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

*ducks*

Posted by: B_A_ | April 9, 2009 1:51 PM

Yeah, you better ;-)

While I don't think that Washington would ever get the final - even a semi is doubtful. I can't imagine matches not being played in this area. That would be the official death of DC as a major sports town, IMHO.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I would avoid the south as much as possible. Just too hot for good soccer. I know, the whole country east of the Rockies is too hot and humid in the summer. But at least up north, there's a chance that game days in June and July will have 70-degree or 80-degree weather, and not 90-degree or 100-degree weather. Maybe have three venues in the south, and the rest as far north as possible (or on the West Coast).

Posted by: SSMD1 | April 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

USSF: "Basically what I'm sayin' is, we got us a lot of stadiums."

Sorry, rough day. This was the first laugh I've had today. It reminds me of Sunil's joke that all we ask for is two week's notice...for hosting the second biggest event in the world.

Still, what's it say about US soccer when there isn't one soccer facility on the list, even as a symbolic gesture.

Posted by: DCU-ATL | April 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln/Omaha NE Memorial Stadium (GO BIG RED!)
FedEx Field - Washington
Dallas Cowboys Stadium
New Meadowlands
Reliant Stadium - Houston
Soldier Field - Chicago
Qwest Field - Seattle
LP Field - Nashville
THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAMBEAU!
Lincoln Financial Field - Philly
Invesco Field - Denver
Rose Bowl

Posted by: arswift24 | April 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota would be a great place for a game, particualarly with the new TCF Stadium. The weather in the summer is perfect, so games could be played mid-day if necessary (for the European and African teams).

Posted by: ComoPark | April 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope they pick Iowa City just so they can create a giant David Beckham out of butter.

Seriously though, even the hayseed places on the list could be used as practice venues or training camps. I can't think of a better place in the sticks for the Iranian national team to train for a few weeks than Fayetteville, Arkansas. Pig soooey, indeed.

Double seriously, any irony that only three current MLS facilities are on this list plus eight former ones, none of them 'soccer-specific'?

Posted by: IamAM | April 9, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Why should World Cup matches only be in places that are comfortable for Europeans? If we have to play England or Germany, I want that match in Kansas City, Columbus, or Birmingham.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It is kind of funny, although it makes sense once you think it through, that no soccer-specific-stadiums are on the list. I realize that they are too small to qualify for such a big event, but it is still a bit funny, nonetheless. Especially because the road in front of Pizza Hut Park is called World Cup Way.

I guess one would want the biggest and best stadium in town to become a venue with the hope that you might get one of the biggest/best games. Any stadium in the USA is much closer to me than South Africa.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | April 9, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

what's it say about US soccer when there isn't one soccer facility on the list, even as a symbolic gesture.

It says that no U.S. soccer team plays in their own 40,000+ facility. Does that surprise you?

Posted by: dm100 | April 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I think if the U.S. gets the World Cup, they'll use at least 15 stadiums, but here's my 12 (limited to east of the Mississippi for no particular reason):

  • New Meadowlands Stadium
  • M&T Bank Stadium
  • Lincoln Financial Field
  • Gillette Stadium
  • Soldier Field
  • Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Heinz Field
  • Cleveland Browns Stadium
  • LP Field
  • Raymond James Stadium
  • Dolphin Stadium
  • Final: FedExField

Posted by: dm100 | April 9, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of a better place in the sticks for the Iranian national team to train for a few weeks than Fayetteville, Arkansas. Pig soooey, indeed.

"Between the hedges" in Athens, Georgia. Just don't let Uga VII get too close...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

submitting that list plays into the stereotype of an America that does things through sheer brawn and insults the intelligence of the rest of the world. "Yee-Haw! We have 70 really big stadiums. Each one the size of a cattle ranch!" I would expect better from an economics professor at an Ivy-league school in a cosmopolitan city. I'm looking at you Sunil.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 1:24 PM

Very Interesting point, I-270. I saw mfrahm's point on this and your reply too, and in any event I think it is an acute observation on your part.

Posted by: WorldCup | April 9, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

In no particukor order:

1. new Redskins stadium
2. LA Coliseum (bigger, more historic and in better location)
3. YANKEE STADIUM
4. Soldier Field
5.Univ of Phoenix stadium
6. Michigan Stadium
7. New Cowboys stadium, unfortunately it is going to be nice
8. Gillette
9. LP stadium
10. Whatever outdoor stadium will have replaced the Superdome by 2018
11.Dolphin Stadium
12.Qwest Field

Two other things, NO F*@KING DOMES, and there will be dozens of new stadiums by 2018 so isn't this exercise kind of pointless.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | April 9, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Also at the end of the day we all know it will be the 12 biggest stadiums because its all about the money.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | April 9, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Based on where you figure they would want markets, I would take:
1. Gillette
2. Giants Stadium (whatever the new one is called)
3. The Linc
4. DannyDome
5. Reliant
6. Cowboys stadium (hosting the final)
7. Soldier Field
8. Qwest
9. University of Phoenix Stadium
10. Rose Bowl
11. LP Field
12. Dolphin Stadium

Challenge: can anyone come up with a suitable group of stadiums in a small geographical area to limit the "US is too big" feel? I tried this with the Northeast and it doesn't quite work, but maybe in the south or Big Ten country with all the college stadiums plus NFL

Posted by: AbuZilif | April 9, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

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