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FIFA World Cup inspection coming to 5 U.S. sites

FIFA will tour stadiums in the New York, Washington, Miami, Dallas and Houston areas in early September as part of the process to select the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, American organizers told the Insider.

The inspection group will visit the new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey, FedEx Field in Landover, Md., Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., and Reliant Stadium in Houston between Sept. 6 and 9.

For more.....

The five locations were selected, among the 18 included in the U.S. formal bid, to accommodate the group's tight travel schedule, provide a variety of venues (Houston has a retractable roof; Dallas and the Meadowlands are new) and show off the size and amenities offered by American stadiums. Seating capacity is 80,000-plus in Dallas, 71,000 in Houston, 80,000 in Miami, up to 80,000 in New Jersey, and 91,000 in Washington.

Miami, the Meadowlands and Washington, as well as West Coast sites, would become prime candidates to host the opening match, the semifinals and championship game. (In 1994, the opener was in Chicago, the semis at the Rose Bowl and the Meadowlands, and the final at the Rose Bowl.)

If the USA were to be awarded the World Cup, at least 12 venues would be utilized. Average seating capacity for the 18 candidates is 76,000.

Assuming the 2018 tournament goes to a European bidder (England is the favorite but faces challenges from Russia, Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium), the United States will take on South Korea, Japan, Australia and Qatar. The FIFA delegation, led by Chilean federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls, has already visited South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Danny Jordaan, who oversaw South Africa's World Cup organizing committee, has also joined the inspection group, which, upon concluding its work, will submit a report to FIFA's 24-member executive committee. The vote to choose the 2018 and '22 hosts will take place Dec. 2 in Zurich.

By Steve Goff  |  August 2, 2010; 8:22 PM ET
Categories:  FIFA , USA World Cup bid  | Tags: FIFA, World Cup  
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Comments

FIFA's coming! Quick, throw a tarp over RFK!

Posted by: StewartDC8 | August 2, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Hm, maybe FIFA will say we can only have the World Cup if we build a SSS with a pop-up upper bowl in Lot 8 of RFK.

Posted by: dccal | August 2, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

In New York they'll be meeting with a delegation from Atlanta that includes mayor Kasim Reed.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 2, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

not sure this can happen, but would be nice to see US soccer support the city's that are working with there local team to support the growth of the game.

New Jersey
Houston
Philadelphia
Kansas City


and leave the other city's out, You know every city that hosts a game will make mad money. Why support a city (officials) who doesnt give a ---- about there local team or the growth of the game.

Dc united
etc

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 2, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

@Norteno4life - pretty simple, the WC wouldnt be hosted in any of the new SSS being built in the cities you mentioned because their capacities are too small.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 2, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

and leave the other city's out, You know every city that hosts a game will make mad money. Why support a city (officials) who doesnt give a ---- about there local team or the growth of the game.

Dc united
etc

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 2, 2010 9:15 PM

Sorry, but MLS has no bearing on the World Cup. Seriously, they're not going to punish an area for failing to throw tax money at a stadium during a recession - and a stadium that wouldn't be used during the Cup. Or for that matter reward a place like NY/NJ because an energy drink maker gave them a stadium. These things are mutually exclusive from a tournament organizing committee looking for the biggest American football stadiums to pack with $100-$300 ticket buyers.

Do you seriously want DC to miss out in matches because Will Chang can't get the money to build a 20k seat stadium? I can tell you who will not let that happen, the high rolling international and diplomatic communities here in the District. They will make sure that finals matches are played somewhere inside the Beltway. The only question is FedEx or a possible SnyderDome.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 2, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Kev29.

Best case scenario: we get the bid, DCU gets a brand spanking new 25,000-seat stadium at Poplar Point, and the Skins move to a rebuilt, 80,000-seat RFK Stadium which DC United uses occasionally for big-name friendlies.

Realistic scenario: we get the 2022 bid, DCU moves to Baltimore, elsewhere, or simply becomes defunct due to bankruptcy from so many years at decrepit and yet somehow expensive RFK and waning attendance numbers, and the Skins stay put at the behemoth in Landover.

Boo, reality.

Posted by: kdiff813 | August 2, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The no WC without supporting a stadium for your MLS team will work out well for Baltimore.

Posted by: seahawkdad | August 2, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

RFK will be perfect because it has no goal line technology.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 2, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

It is reality but really galling that all these years later we will be schlepping to that atrocity in Raljon to see World Cup matches.

Posted by: paulkp | August 2, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I doubt that FedEx will be standing in 2022. SnyderDome will be up before then, DC Gov and Snyder will not like watching Super Bowls in Dallas and New Jersey.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 2, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Blatter's going to have a major woodie when he sees the size of these stadiums.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | August 2, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope FIFA is as impressed with Reliant Stadium as the reporter for the Guardian UK was at the MLS All-Star game:

"The magnificent 71,000-capacity Reliant Stadium (think the Camp Nou with a roof on) witnessed the finest display of United's pre-season tour thus far"

Pretty high praise indeed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jul/29/manchester-united-mls-all-stars-friendly

Posted by: diego_r | August 3, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Somehow I doubt that FedEx will be standing in 2022. SnyderDome will be up before then, DC Gov and Snyder will not like watching Super Bowls in Dallas and New Jersey.

Posted by: Kev29
------------------------

Exactly. SnyderDome will come into existence long before 2022. And--while it won't be a WC factor--I think there will be a SSS in the area, too, though I wouldn't bet my mortgage that DCU will be the team in it (even if the worst happens and DCU moves or folds, the sport is growing so much that I do believe there would be another team with a stadium in the DC area by 2022).

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | August 3, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

It does seem a bit strange that they are looking at current stadiums for a World Cup 12 years away.

Will the Qatar group point to the desert and show them a picture of what will be there in 10 years (besides Khalifa 50k what do they have)?

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 3, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

http://www.football365.com/Gallery_Detail/0,17732,13282_6291677,00.html

The second picture in the gallery is a nice shot of Bradley defending Joe Cole in the Liverpool-Monchengladbach friendly.

Posted by: glfrazier | August 3, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

The reason they are looking at 2022 is that FIFA has said it will award both the 2018 and 2022 Cup at the same time. And I do not see soccer specific stadiums coming into it. Remember, in 1994, RFK was the smallest stadium awarded games. This time, the average will be over 70,000, and they stand there ready made for FIFA, they will not have to help finance white elephants as in South Africa. Vast improvement this time, with Cowboys Stadium replacing the awful Cotton Bowl stadium, the new Meadowlands Stadium replacing Giants Stadium, which was only so so for soccer due to small field size (almost every seat lost some bit of the field), and, sorry, either FedEx or a new SnyderDome for RFK. Foxboro has been replaced with Gilette, too. We go in with a very strong bid for 2022. The only major obstacle is that, as with the Olympics, there are real problems with a US bid for political reasons, plus US immigration policy as regards visitors.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | August 3, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

If anyone wants a good laugh, check out the 11th second of Week 17 90+ on the MLS(Soccer)SSoccer.com soccer website.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/videos

replay as needed to get the full effect

Posted by: silverrey | August 3, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

2022: I predict this will be the year Freddy Adu finally breaks out and shows all that potential!

Posted by: Cossackathon | August 3, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

FIFA's coming! Quick, throw a tarp over RFK!

Posted by: StewartDC8 | August 2, 2010 8:26 PM
=====================

Well in.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | August 3, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the chances that Gillett and Hicks might buy into MLS after selling Liverpool? I know a team with a great history that really needs some new ownership with deep pockets...

Posted by: SeanWG | August 3, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but MLS has no bearing on the World Cup.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 2, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

--

What??? MLS's entire existence is due to a FIFA mandate for the World Cup. You don't think they're interested in hearing how WC2022 will boost MLS? Of course they are. And even if FIFA didn't care about boosting MLS, USSF would, it's part of their mandate. (Not mentioning that the head of US Soccer is also an MLS employee, and that Don Garber is on the WC Committee.)

Washington DC can possibly get away with kicking MLS to the curb because it's the national capital, and it's perceived as a big come-down in international prestige to substitute Baltimore. In most cities, though, a specific rebuke to the domestic league would be the end of their WC hosting chances. (A city like Indianapolis is something different, since the league has never approached them to be rebuked.)

That's too bad, because if United were forced to move to Baltimore, it would be in the best interests of soccer in America if the World Cup went with it.

Posted by: stancollins | August 3, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

FIFA's coming! Quick, throw a tarp over RFK!
Posted by: StewartDC8
===========

They can explain RFK by saying "That stadium was the former home of Washington's NFL, MLB, and MLS teams."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 3, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

What??? MLS's entire existence is due to a FIFA mandate for the World Cup. You don't think they're interested in hearing how WC2022 will boost MLS?

Posted by: stancollins | August 3, 2010 10:15 AM

Yes, the World Cup has great bearing on MLS. MLS has no bearing on the World Cup. USSF will not be playing MLS politics with the 2022 bid.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 3, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Speaking if DCU stadium possibilies, is there absolutely no way no how (politically or otherwise) that Ludwig field in UMD could be expanded to a 20k facility? I know reasons why not have probably been discussed/explained before, but if so I missed it.

On the surface of it, you have a nearby metro. You have car access and plenty of parking owing to nearby Byrd stadium. You already have a (small) soccer stadium there, though the track would have to go somewhere else.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 3, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

FIFA doesn't give a hoot about fans buying $100-$300 tickets in 80K-capacity stadiums in the USA. It knows that's pretty much guaranteed. All FIFA cares about are the quality and number of corporate suites IN those stadiums to please all its sponsors.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Speaking if DCU stadium possibilies, is there absolutely no way no how (politically or otherwise) that Ludwig field in UMD could be expanded to a 20k facility? I know reasons why not have probably been discussed/explained before, but if so I missed it.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 3, 2010 10:30 AM

I seriously doubt that Ludwig could be expanded much more. It's in a pretty small space, and the University would have to eliminate the track and field facilities to make it a full time soccer/lacrosse stadium. Don't really see why they would do that. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if UMd isn't all that pleased with United, maybe they felt like a bit of a pawn in the PG County proposal disaster? Not sure though.

Oh and Maryland basically does not have a president or an AD at the moment - school is kind of in a rebuilding shuffle right now. And Metro is not really that convenient to that portion of campus, the station is over a mile and a half away. Purple Line would help - but I just don't see United pursuing ANYTHING in Prince George's County - UMd or otherwise.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Safe prediction---IF the U.S. hosts the FIFA World Cup, any games played in the Washington area will be held at FedEx Field---NOT RFK Stadium. Whether or not DCU has a new stadium or not will not make a difference. I also strongly suspect that because of its seating capacity, the final would be held at Cowboys Stadium, which can seat over 100,000---not 80,000 as the article suggests.

Before anybody rips me, I'm a Redskins fan.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | August 4, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

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