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USA World Bid Venues

Greetings from Seattle. I'm planning to head over to Starfire Sports Complex in a bit for D.C. United training, but for now.....

*The list of venue candidates to be part of the USA's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup has been trimmed from 58 to 45. Most are large NFL or college football stadiums. The smallest seating capacity is Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City (45,603), while FedEx Field, Rose Bowl, L.A. Coliseum, U of Tennessee stadium, U of Michigan stadium, the new Cowboys stadium and Ohio State's stadium all top 90,000. Those that made the cut have received Requests for Proposals from the USA Bid Committee. A final list is expected to be unveiled at the end of the year. FIFA will make its WC host nation choices in December 2010. Check the list and tell me which ones are, in your opinion, automatic choices:

Georgia Dome, Atlanta*
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore*
Legion Field, Birmingham
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.*
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte*
Soldier Field, Chicago*
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati*
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland*
Ohio Stadium, Columbus
Cotton Bowl, Dallas
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tex.*
INVESCO Field, Denver*
Ford Field, Detroit*
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.
Reliant Stadium, Houston*
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis*
Jacksonville Stadium, Jacksonville*
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City*
Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
Sports City USA, Las Vegas
L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Land Shark Stadium, Miami*
Metrodome, Minneapolis*
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
LP Field, Nashville*
Superdome, New Orleans*
New Meadowlands Stadium, New Jersey*
Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia*
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.*
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh*
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
Alamodome, San Antonio
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego*
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif.
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, Oakland*
Husky Stadium, Seattle
Qwest Field, Seattle*
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis*
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa*
FedEx Field, Landover, Md.*
RFK Stadium, Washington

*NFL stadium

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2009; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  USA World Cup bid  
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Next: D.C. in Washington



Soldier Field
New Meadowlands
Qwest Field
Gillette Stadium
Rose Bowl (or the LA Coliseum, but not both)
Stanford Stadium
FedEx Field (unless DC only gets group games, in which case, screw it, go with RFK, because at least RFK has a soul)
Joe Robbie Stadium (sorry, "Land Shark" stadium...Joe Robbie was apparently a big soccer supporter)
Cowboys Stadium
Reliant STadium

Other top candidates, IMHO:
LP Field, Nashville
Rice-Eccles, SLC
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Lincoln Financial Field

Posted by: EdTheRed | June 16, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Legion would be amazing, but I don't see it happening.

Although if this gets them to put grass down again and start hosting MNT games again...

I went to USA/AUS there last year and it was a very fun experience. UAB plays it's home games there too.

Posted by: Colm1 | June 16, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think it's weird that they have to submit now? WC'22 is 13 years away. How many staduims will be built between now and then? And there's 0% chance that RFK will still be standing. Hell, if Dannyboy gets his way, FexEX might not be standing!

Posted by: ajaxdude | June 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

What, no Maryland SoccerPlex?

Posted by: Str8Red | June 16, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Is the list online again? I'm more interested in what was cut.

Posted by: sitruc | June 16, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I keep checking the list to make sure I didn't miss it, but I don't see Carey Stadium, Ocean City, NJ on this list. Goff, this must be some kind of mistake?

Posted by: DCUMD | June 16, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Rice Eccles? You mean, hard-as-a-rock concrete under 1/2 inch thick worn-out fieldturf Rice Eccles? Am I missing something here?

Posted by: Ron16 | June 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I could not care less which one is "automatic." What is significant is that these are "pointy ball" stadia, many with tracks around the perimeter of the field and stands gently sloping away from the field. In other words, the antithesis of soccer stadia in most other places. The places may be packed, and if I'm still drawing a breath I'll probably grab a ticket like '94, but the "fan experience" from a sight line and crowd noise perspective will be substandard.

Posted by: griffin1108 | June 16, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

One of the big complaints from the last world cup here in 1994 was that it was "too hot" for the players to play good football. Therefore, you got to figure that the stadia with natural grass and retractable roof are strong bets. On that basis, in addition to Cowboys Stadium (in Dallas) and Reliant (in Houston), you also have to like University of Phoenix Stadium. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego may get some consideration as well, as the avg temp in June is in the 70's. Finally, I think you have to consider Lincoln Financial (in Philly) as well, as that stadium was built with soccer (generally and the world cup specifically) in mind in terms of the dimensions of its pitch.

Posted by: coreymartin2004 | June 16, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the old list.

What the heck is Sports City USA? Never heard of it. I first noticed that Madison, Green Bay, and Iowa City were left off. Not really that much of a surprise there I think.

Posted by: ricecloudnine | June 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Rice Eccles? You mean, hard-as-a-rock concrete under 1/2 inch thick worn-out fieldturf Rice Eccles? Am I missing something here?

Posted by: Ron16 | June 16, 2009 4:18 PM


If Rice-Eccles was to be picked (and honestly, it's one of the 5 least qualified out of the remaining 45 so I really doubt it will be chosen), they'd cover that turf with grass in a second.

Posted by: kebzach | June 16, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

>Anyone else think it's weird that they have to submit now?

Yes, it's incredibly stupid -- as stupid as choosing WC22 this soon.

Posted by: Reignking | June 16, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Clemson announced the resignation of men’s soccer coach Trevor Adair on Tuesday, more than two months after Adair was arrested on charges of allegedly assaulting his two teenage daughters.

It is unclear whether Adair, 48, was asked or forced to resign by the university.

Adair’s lead assistant coach, Phil Hindson, will serve as the Tigers’ interim coach through the 2009 season, the school announced.

Posted by: Reignking | June 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Shoo-ins: Gilette; New Cowboys; New Meadowlands; Rose Bowl; Soldier Field

Likely: Qwest Field; The Linc; Invesco; LP Field; FedEx

Darkhorse candidate: Depending on how successful Real Maryland is over the next decade--> Richard Montgomery High School (future American Bernabeu)

Posted by: DWE4 | June 16, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

griffin, I would like to politely disagree with your point of many of them being too far away, especially when you say that they have tracks around them. No NFL stadium has a track. The Superdome and Alamodome have lots of room on the sides, but no tracks. Look at Seattle, Nashville, that's more the norm, just enough room for a field and ad boards. Perfect for soccer.

I'd love for a game or two in Atlanta, but Nashville worked out well, so that'd be fine. As long as I get to go to a game down here.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 16, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to the the 2022 WC Final at The Wal-Mart Dome in Fayetteville, AR.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 16, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

AK (not AR)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 16, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wal-Mart is indeed AR.

AK; Palin; dome; palindrome; you can assemble your own joke.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | June 16, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It's not stupid for one reason: The two hosts are almost certain to be England and the USA. FIFA gains a lot by not having one of those countries as a loser, waiting 4 years or more to submit another bid. This way, they get 2 winners. FIFA doesn't want to deal a big blow to the sport's future in the USA, in particular. So, if we lose out for '18, they can announce an even longer build-up to the '22 Cup -- not a bad platform for the sport here.

As for the "final" list of stadiums, I doubt there's anything final about it. Maybe, at 4 years out, when the landscape of available stadia is clearer, we can have a "final" list.

Posted by: fischy | June 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

hum!!! some of these stadiums may not be around 9 years or even 13 years from now. RFK comes to mind. With DCUnited moving to Miami ;-) 2 years from now because of their ongoing battle to get their soccer-specific stadium, RFK will be left gathering for 7 years. And re-elected mayor Michelle Fenty has reiterated her committment to not fund any Soccer related construction on the aging stadium.

Posted by: gmail | June 16, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks fallschurch. Huckabee-Palin 2012!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 16, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Neyland Stadium for the win.

Posted by: you-dont | June 16, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Nah, USA isn't corrupt enough for FIFA.

Posted by: Reignking | June 16, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse


That's the funniest joke I've heard all day.

I'm sure RFK would be rocking. Then collapsing.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought that occurred to me. I imagine FIFA envisions handing the '18 Cup to England, and then the '22 Cup to the USA. Which probably means the '26 Cup would go to Asia -- between Australia and China. If it's Australia (the likelier choice), that would be 3 straight English-speaking nations...and 4 out of 5, if you include South Africa. Not sure how the non-aligned nations would feel about that...they may try to throw a spanner in the works.

Posted by: fischy | June 16, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

AIG, Madoff, Enron, #43, etc .

We sure seem corrupt enough to me . .

Where's the final going to be held? Rose Bowl again?

Posted by: delantero | June 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@coreymartin2004 -- One correction -- the Cowboys' new stadium will have a synthetic playing surface. I suppose that could be changed, which would make the new stadium a better bet than the Cotton Bowl. Still, I wonder if they'll pick 3 Southwestern cities, unless they really open up the number of host cities. As for retractable roofs and natural grass, I bet the Redskins get that, when they find a new owner that hasn't just declared bankruptcy.

Posted by: fischy | June 16, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@ fischy

The US has the third largest Spanish speaking population in the world behind only Mexico and Colombia.I'm sure that takes care of that as an issue.

Besides between 2014 and 2022 that takes care of the Americas nicely. Personally I think China by 2026 will be well ahead of Austrailia as a potential host from Asia.

Posted by: mcontento | June 16, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not hating on the kid, respect his decision and all, but I'd always heard Rossi say that he always felt Italian, and then today said that the "USA feels like home to me".

Also, the Spanish media is blasting him as a traitor, which, with that whole Marco Senna thing makes me laugh a little, but still, strong words.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 16, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I have thought for a while that Australia gets the 2018 World Cup and England will get 2022. They aren't coming back here yet.

Posted by: csd1 | June 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

No Raymond James? I know it might be a little Disney with the pirate ship and the "Torrtuga" concourse, but it's got character, a natural grass field, and good sight lines. Plus, Tampa is a beautiful host city...looks like Emerald City (only white).

I must also say that Dallas Stadium, Rose Bowl and New Giants stadium are no-brainer locks.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | June 16, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

We'll host a World Cup between 2014 and 2022 simply because the 1994 Cup was the most profitable Cup ever. There is ZERO chance that South Africa will rack in as much money, and I seriously doubt the capability of Brazil to be ready for 2014.

Posted by: alecw81 | June 16, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

5 geographic regions with 4 host cities/venues each:

Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
Qwest Field - Seattle, WA
Stanford Stadium - Palo Alto, CA

Southwest/Rocky Mt.
New Cowboys Stadium - Arlington, TX
U of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
Reliant Stadium - Houston, TX
Invesco Field - Denver, CO

Midwest/Great Lakes
Soldier Field - Chicago, IL
Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis, IN
Cleveland Browns Stadium - Cleveland, OH
Ford Field - Detroit, MI

Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, MA
New Meadowlands Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ
FedEx Field - Landover, MD
Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia, PA

Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL
LP Field - Nashville, TN
Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA

Round of 16
Rose Bowl; Qwest Field; New Cowboys Stadium; Invesco Field; Soldier Field; Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field; Raymond James Stadium

Quarter Finals
Rose Bowl; New Cowboys Stadium; Soldier Field; New Meadowlands Stadium

Semi Finals
Soldier Field; New Cowboys Stadium

3rd Place
Gillette Stadium

New Meadowlands Stadium

Posted by: dinhki | June 16, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Re: Tracks around stadiums.

Someone already said the US fields dont have them.

I'd like to add, I've seen several big games in Europe (on TV) that have tracks around them. I think the Euro final last year was one. It makes sense as Europe actually watches track and has stadiums for it. I think it is a somewhat recent development that they have gone to large soccer specific stadiums

Posted by: makplan20002 | June 17, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Based on past 32 team World Cups, Germany had 12, South Africa will use 10. Also, one of the few negatives mentioned after the 94 World Cup was the travel distances fans had to deal with. So I'd guess 12 to at most 14 cities. If they went 14, it'd be so they could have first round groups not be traveling across the country, but staying fairly regional:

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass
New Meadowlands Stadium, New Jersey
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
FedEx Field, Landover, Md
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tex.
Soldier Field, Chicago
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif.
Qwest Field, Seattle
one to three from either INVESCO Field, Denver; Ford Field, Detroit; Reliant Stadium, Houston; Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; Land Shark Stadium, Miami or Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Posted by: thrh1 | June 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Denver should be included. It's a good stadium for soccer and the stupid Denver Post would finally be FORCED to cover international soccer.

But, seriously, think of the benefit the US would get if it was in a first round group in Denver. After the preliminary rounds, we'd go to the East or West Coast and play at sea level and run teams into the ground.

Well, one can only hope. But it does seem that cities that have invested in MLS stadiums should get some recognition in this process.

Posted by: hacksaw | June 17, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Remember that the exact cities don't have to be selected before FIFA chooses which countries host. US Soccer only has to prove that it has enough stadiums available, which is clear.
For most countries, the stadiums they would use are pretty clear-cut.
For the USA, any new stadiums that are built between now and 2018-22 could join the list.
For 1994, the USA got the bid in 1988, then selected the final nine cities much later. I attended a game in Philly in 1991 (US vs. Sheffield Wednesday at Vets Stadium), and it was part of Philly's push to be selected by US Soccer to host World Cup games.
If the US wins a bid, then the race will begin among the stadiums.

Posted by: sheilman94 | June 19, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

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