Copa America 2016 games lure 24 US hopefuls
Two dozen US cities want to host matches in the 2016 Centennial Copa America tournament, the first time the event will be staged outside South America, USA Soccer announced Thursday.
Chicago: Two dozen US cities want to host matches in the 2016 Centennial Copa America tournament, the first time the event will be staged outside South America, USA Soccer announced Thursday.
Next year`s unique edition of the continental football showdown will be staged at US venues in June and feature all 10 South American nations from governing body CONMEBOL and six more from North American counterpart CONCACAF.
Already set for the tournament are South American sides Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and record 15-time champions Uruguay plus North American squads United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
Cities have a March 16 deadline to submit final proposals with winning cities to be named in May, with eight to 13 stadiums of at least 50,000 seats expected to be selected as match hosts.
Candidate cities include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Atlanta, San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Other hopefuls include Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Nashville, Cleveland and Jacksonville.
"The interest level from cities across the nation has been phenomenal," US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said. "Everyone understands the tournament will be a huge event during the summer of 2016, and it`s exciting to see all of these cities putting together bids."
CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb pushed the region as a potential 2026 World Cup host, although a US bid for 2022 lost out to Qatar.
"The unique opportunities that we have with the Centennial Cup America... will help set the stage to demonstrate how our region is ready to welcome back another FIFA World Cup in 2026," Webb said.