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Details of FIFA World Cup inspection tour

A six-man FIFA delegation will arrive next Monday to inspect proposed venues as part of the U.S. bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. The four-day visit will have stops in New York/New Jersey (New Meadowlands Stadium), Washington (FedEx Field), Miami (Sun Life Stadium), Houston (Reliant Stadium) and Dallas (Cowboys Stadium).

While in the D.C. area, the group will visit George Mason University, a potential training site; tour the grounds of the Washington Monument, a possible Fan Fest venue; dine with local soccer and political figures; and inspect FedEx Field, the 92,000-seat home of the Redskins which has hosted the 1999 Women's World Cup, and D.C. United friendlies against Chelsea and Real Madrid.

All 18 cities will be represented at a welcoming reception in New York. The delegation is headed by Harold Mayne-Nicholls, president of the Chilean football federation, and also includes Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 South Africa organizing committee. (Additional information from an Insider post earlier this month.)

FIFA is in the process of inspecting all countries bidding for the two World Cups. The host nations will be named Dec. 2 in Zurich. Should the United States be selected, the specific city venues, probably 12 of them, would not be finalized for several years.

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2010; 1:49 PM ET
Categories:  FIFA , USA World Cup bid  | Tags: FIFA, World Cup  
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They aren't visiting the White House? I believe the FIFA delegation was taken to Number 10 when in London and had a visit with Putin in Russia...

Posted by: Louise9 | August 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe RFK was used in USA '94. Was it that much better back then?

Posted by: inzzo79 | August 30, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Do they even go to the trouble of bringing the cartoon-like bags of cash with dollar signs on them to the delegation, or are they boring and just wire it to their Swiss bank accounts?

Posted by: IamAM | August 30, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Is Dollar Bill Jefferson incarcerated yet? Who better to dine with FIFA. He can give them a tour of his freezer.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Have the Camelot dancers been reserved for a special showing?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 30, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

If Warner is with them, it would be a good time to arrest him.

Oh wait, no governemntal interference with FIFA!

Posted by: Reignking | August 30, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@inzzo -- I'm no expert, as I was new to DC then -- but, with the Redskins still using the stadium,, there was definitely more spent on upkeep. Also, there was considerably more seating then. I think the capacity is 10k less these days.

Posted by: fischy | August 30, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Is Dollar Bill Jefferson incarcerated yet? Who better to dine with FIFA. He can give them a tour of his freezer.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 30, 2010 2:35 PM

Maybe David Vitter could be given the task of making sure they're all shown a good time.

Posted by: fischy | August 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Whut, they aint taking the comitee to RFK?!?!?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | August 30, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

RFK made a fine soccer venue for 1994, I went to all five games. But FIFA would be unlikely to consider it today. FedEx has 40,000 more seats, club level facilities, suites, you name it.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | August 30, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The USA is a no-brainer for FIFA if money is their number 1 concern. The 1994 World Cup was the most profitable and most attended World Cup in history. At 57,000 seats for soccer, RFK was the smallest stadium used in 94. All of the games sold out. Of the stadiums they are touring this week, the smallest seats 75,000 for soccer.

In South Africa games were played in 38,000 seat stadiums that had empty seats! In Germany, many of the games were played in 40,000 to 45,000 seat stadiums. Compare that to Fedex, new Giant's or Dallas.

There is no new infrastructure that needs to be put in place. All stadiums are already built. US Airports can easily handle the numbers of people coming to the games.

From a broadcast point of view, North and South America are in the same time zones. Most of Europe and Africa are 5-7 hours of ahead of the east coast which means that afternoon games fit nicely into evening broadcasts in Europe and Africa.

The USA could host the tournament next week and not break a sweat. How many other countries can do that? How much is Brazil spending on stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup? How much did South Africa spend?

As to the argument that Soccer is not that popular in the USA, MLS draws just fine. There are soccer specific stadiums popping up all over the country that seat 25,000 to 27,000 and sell out. That is more than comparable to many of the league stadiums in Europe.

The only reason we don't get the World Cup is due to anti-Americanism.

Posted by: restonvawright | August 30, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

No World Cup matches for the Soccerplex?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 31, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

@999: Once, while watching my son's toddler soccer class at the Plex' indoor field, a parent asked me if that was the type of field used for the World Cup.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 31, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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