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US World Cup List Trimmed


Today, the bid committee for USA 2018/2022 cut the number of potential cities to host matches to twenty seven, eliminating eleven cities that had submitted proposals. The eleven eliminated cities are:

Birmingham, Cincinnati, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark ; Knoxville,  Las Vegas,  Minneapolis,  New Orleans,  Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio.

The elimination of Birmingham and New Orleans are of particular disappointment to me given they could have been utilized in a southern “pod” for one or two groups along with the remaining cities from Texas, Florida and the Southeast.

New Orleans, also could have provided a nice story as the city has made a remarkable recovery from the devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina, an event that did as much to damage the reputation of the United States abroad as the Iraq War or the 2000 Presidential Election did.

Minneapolis and Pittsburgh could have also been used in a Midwestern regional format. Part of the reason regions need to be considered is the expansive nature of the US compared to other bidders for 2018 and 2022, and the logistical issues associated with such an expansive nation.

The remaining cities in the bidding process are:

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa and Washington D.C.

What are everyone’s thoughts on the cities that were eliminated and those that remain in contention?

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  1. soccer goals

    August 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I am glad that Florida is still in the running.

  2. Juan

    August 24, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Great if Miami gets it. Miami needs MLS.

  3. Seybold

    August 22, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Seattle is not a prospective, possible, theoretical location. It is a dead-set 100% lock. It would’ve hosted in 1994 instead of the Bay area. Subways will be running to (and between) both 65,000+ stadiums and downtown by then to boot (yeah we suck bigtime but are finally catching up on real transit).

    If this were for any other sport, Seattle based on market size would be lucky at best to be a host, but not in soccer. No way. It’s in, period.

  4. Tom

    August 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    The 2018 WC will be in England. The 2022 will be in either the USA or Australia.

    Of course they would never host 2022 in the mid-east, Indonesia is a third world country, and Mexico is in chaos.
    Japan hosted more recently than the US so they are out.

  5. CFTV

    August 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    As a former Detroiter I am stoked to see that Detroit is still in the mix for the World Cup bid. Detroit for all of its pitfalls and there are many but the city should be considered the capital of sports in America because in all honesty that is all the city has with the Auto Business drying up. What city in the last 5 years has hosted a Super Bowl , a World Series, an MLB All Star Game, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Finals, the Final Four, and WrestleMania? Next year Ford Field will also host the Frozen Four for College Hockey in what will be the highest attended Frozen Four in the sports history.

    I know Detroit is right on the cusp of hosting the event and not hosting it. As a person that LOVES their hometown I hope that the city can pull it off again and deliver in spades another great sporting experience like the region did when the World Cup came through in 1994 as well as the aforementioned events the past 5 years that have come through the city.

  6. Mark

    August 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Why all the Columbus and Salt Lake love?

  7. Lowell

    August 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Soccer has always been here! Its the MEDIA that has kept it from becoming more mainstream. The dolts in our communities would rather see meaningless high school sports articles than coverage of the world’s game.

    Somehow coverage of Jim Bob’s 4 tackles for XYZ High School needs to receive more coverage than CL matches. Even if it’s relegated to the fine print on the back page of the newspaper… its the MEDIA that is retarding the growth of the sport.

    If the Tour de France can get mainstream coverage, there is no reason why soccer cant get just as much. 3 weeks out of the year (and do in large part to one man, albeit a great one) the masses are all clued in about a sport NO ONE IN AMERICA cares about.

  8. eplnfl

    August 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I am from the Windy City as everyone knows and it is easy to sit back and say Chicago is a lock for something big.

    What is of interest to me is how much reaction there is here. Another sign of America becoming a soccer nation!

  9. Jason

    August 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Everyone is discounting Denver, but Gulati said in a press conference that they would chose venues in all 4 time zones. Denver is the only Mountain time zone site remaining.

    Why such an uproar about Columbus? Ohio Stadium is huge but it is relatively narrow compared to most football stadiums. That is how they fit all of those people in. Maybe they were eliminated because they were unwilling to committ to recommended stadium improvements.

    I love all the pseudo-educated complaining.

    Even though we talk about “growing” the game in the US, the WC will be in the large stadiums in the large cities. There will probably be only one “wild card” stadium like Orlando was in 1994.

    Also, there is not a 10 stadium limit. The number could range from 9-14 according to Gulati.

    New York
    Washington DC
    Los Angeles

  10. Mac

    August 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Where would you play a World Cup game in Columbus or Salt Lake City? Do they have modern 60,000+ stadiums? Get a clue. No Stadium = No World Cup. What does having an MLS team have to do with hosting the World Cup. There was no top level soccer in the US in 1994 and it still has the record for highest attendance, even though the tourney has more games now.

    • Kevin_Amold

      August 20, 2009 at 11:52 pm

      Um, well, they do have a 60,000+ seat stadium in Salt Lake. Actually both Salt Lake and Provo do. They’re not the most modern stadiums, but Provo’s is pretty good. I’m probably biased, since I’ve watched 25+ BYU games in that stadium.

      It’s hardly surprising that SLC was eliminated. It’s just disappointing.

      • Lowell

        August 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

        I dont think even the geographical wizards of the world could find “Provo” on a map. Let alone an England supporter that was flying to America.

        If I asked you to point out Burnley, could you do it?

  11. Mac

    August 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Genius that thinks 1994 is too recent: England is pretty much a lock to host in 2018. No South American or European country can host in 2022 once England host. That leaves the USA against Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Qatar, Japan and South Korea. 2022 is 28 years since 1994.

    So realistically it’s USA, Australia, Indonesia and Mexico for 2022.

    Could you have a clue before you post next time?

  12. MHS

    August 20, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Disgraceful that they would take Miami or Tampa over Salt Lake, Columbus and possibly KC or Denver when all the later cities support MLS and Florida did not. This should be about rewarding the cities that made MLS work, not rewarding those filled with eurosnobs and latins who love inferior South American leagues.

    • Lowell

      August 21, 2009 at 9:51 am

      There are no sporting alternatives in Salt Lake or Columbus.

      The MLS was competing with MLB, NFL, and dare I even say NHL in both Miami and Tampa. Naturally, there was low attendance. However (and being a witness) the Con-Fusion that played in Ft. Lauderdale did get a decent crowd. Given the fact the stadium wasnt ideal and the team NEVER marketed to the suburban Mecca west of 441.

  13. Mike

    August 20, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Did anyone really expect any of these cities to host games? Wake up if you did. Here’s how I would break them down.


    Meadowlands Stadium, New York
    FedEx Field, Washington
    Rose Bowl, Los Angeles
    Soldier Field, Chicago
    Cowboys Stadium, Dallas
    Orlando or Miami

    Pretty likely also:
    Gillette Stadium, Boston
    Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
    Quest Field, Seattle
    San Francisco Bay area

    Atlanta, largest city in the South, but Dome
    Charlotte, if they pass on ATL
    Cleveland, may be 2nd Midwest city by default
    Denver, most probable of this bunch
    Houston, may not want two Texas cities
    Indianapolis, can host sports events, but may be to close to Chicago
    Phoenix, can they stand the heat
    St. Louis, will they want to play games in the Dome?

    Baltimore, too many other cities in NE corridor
    Detroit, can’t imagine them wanting to showcase this city
    Jacksonville, no chance
    Kansas City, too isolated
    Nashville, other more likely Southern cities
    San Diego, too close to LA
    Tampa, loses to Disney World and Miami Beach

    • Brian Zygo

      August 21, 2009 at 12:29 am

      What’s interesting is that the CONCACAF folks I talked with weren’t as impressed with the new Dallas stadium and preferred Reliant. Probably because the pitch just barely fit at Dallas

  14. Marc

    August 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    What happened to San Antonio? I thought that would be logical with the proximity to Mexico.

    • Brian Zygo

      August 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      Compared to other venues in Texas, the Alamo Dome doesn’t stack up.

  15. kyle

    August 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Awww the Pussy Europeans are use to riding on a train to see matches. They can experience some American culture and rent a car.

    • Lowell

      August 21, 2009 at 9:47 am

      I wouldnt want to be on I-95 with anymore idiots in rental cars.

  16. bayou

    August 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    New Orleans doesn’t have a place to play, the space to build a stadium, nor does it have the safety and security a city needs. I love NOLA, but it is not the ideal place to put soccer. Sure it’s a party town and the food is great, but safety is a huge concern there, even in the French Quarter.

  17. Marc

    August 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Columbus with some of the best MLS support and a massive stadium is cut but places like Indianapolis and Jacksonville make the cut?

    Ridiculous. I’d love to hear the USSF’s explanation.

    I think it’s pretty obvious Chicago, LA, San Fran, NY, DC, Boston, Dallas Miami and Atlanta are all locks. Houston or Phoenix will compete for the next spot. That leaves one spot for Seattle, Philly and Detroit to fight for.

  18. 1994 is too recent

    August 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    The usa just hosted a WC. Let a more deserving country have it. What about Argentina or in the middle east. Or the UK. I will do all I can so that the usa does NOT get another WC so damn soon. I will lobby for the UK. The UK deserves it more because a) it did not host the WC so recently, and b) the UK respects the game of football and doesn’t treat it like a joke the way the u.s. does.

  19. Lowell

    August 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Thank G-d ATL is still on the list.

    Every home that’s been built in the last 10 years in metro-Atlanta owes its construction to a minority. Latin America has built more houses legally/illegally here than anywhere else I have ever lived.

    I disagree that New Orleans belonged on the list in the first place.
    Major Airport = No
    Aging Venue = Yes
    High Crime = Yes
    Dirty Neighborhoods = Yes
    Face it, the crescent city is still a dump. Katrina did wreck it, but its not like it was that beautiful before hand. Crime was always high and the only reason to go there was to get beads by using your body. Granted Brazilian women… getting beads, not a bad sight.

    Jacksonville… makes no sense. If the thought is to have visitors to Miami drive the length of the state and spend more tourist dollars… then the planners are crazy. Europeans travel by train and to get to Jax from Miami takes 9-10 hours. If you think Europeans have a negative view of the US, wait till they ride Amtrak for 9 hours through palmetto bushes and podunk towns.

  20. Tony H

    August 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Tampa has a shot for sure. It’ll come down to Tampa vs Miami. I suppose Miami has the edge being the 7th largest US metro with a huge ethnic population and a history of good crowds for the Gold Cup.

    But here we have RJS, a newer facility that has more luxury boxes, which should count for something.

  21. Joey Clams

    August 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    That should read “because…”

  22. Joey Clams

    August 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Orlando was picked in 94 before Joe Robbie was being used for baseball.

  23. Derek

    August 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    “Miami should defintetly NOT be on the list”

    WTF are you smoking? Say what you want about the support for the domestic pro game down here, but South Florida comes out in force for the international game. The only reason Miami wasn’t the host city in ’94 was probably due solely on the fact the Marlins played at JRS during the summer. They will be in their new ballpark in 2013 so now Land Shark Stadium is open for soccer business in the summer. I’m guessing Land Shark(or whatever it’s called by then) and Raymond James Stadium host the Florida games. Hope MLS takes their heads out of their asses and comes back to Florida as well…

    I don’t see how St. Louis is on the list with a dome(probably why New Orleans got dropped). Other synthetic turf venues on the list are either open-air or retractable roof and can have grass put in. Not St. Louis.

  24. Phil

    August 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Baltimore will stay because of the way in which the AC v Chelsea game was a success! It was amazing and it is a much nicer venue then fed ex or RFK !

  25. Timothy H.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    What cities hosted the WC in 94?

    Also what cities have hosted Gold Cups more than 3 times?

    That list will give you a rough idea of the finalists.

    • eplnfl

      August 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

      Chicago had the opener and LA the final. We had a total of 3 matches in Chicago. The German team was based here.

  26. al

    August 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    New Orleans and Las Vegas are staples of American tourism and could have been awesome selling points for the big picture for obvious reasons. Yet half of the remaining cities are utter bore-fests. I know that’s only a minute criteria but it’s an important one.


    • Kevin

      August 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      Agreed. That’s why Orlando hosted in 94.

      I think for sure New York, Chicago, LA, Boston, DC/Baltimore, Miami, San Fran, Dallas and Atlanta. To get to 12 pick either Seattle, Houston, Orlando or Detroit. Philly should be out- talk about exposing foreigners to the worst of America, the armpit of the USA!

  27. OL

    August 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Despite your sentiments about New Orleans, the remaining cities are logical and the contest is now among them.

    LA Rose Bowl vs LAMC
    SF/SJ Oakland Coliseum vs Stanford
    DC Fed Ex vs RFK vs Baltimore
    NY Giants Stadium vs a new potential stadium in the city
    Texas HOU vs DAL
    Florida Miami vs Tampa or Orlando
    Midwest Detroit vs Indy or Cleveland
    South Atlanta vs Nashville vs Charlotte

    Philly and Seattle are outliers that either win outright or don’t fit.

  28. David

    August 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Let’s look at the obvious locations to be dropped:
    Charlotte, Cleveland, Nashville
    These cities/venues are much too small to be considered

    Now the locks:
    Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Dallas
    Yes Dallas is on there, you think with that huge new expensive stadium they just built there is anyway they would not be included?

    My guess is they combine SF and Oakland because of proximity
    I am also guessing two other venue would round out the west coast, my gut is Seattle with all their success and Denver (bye San Diego and Phoenix)

    Two of the 4 Florida venues will be dropped, my gut is Jacksonville and Orlando. South will fill up with ATL and Houston

    Midwest – only one MO city gets selected, hard to decide which since I dont know alot about the area – but let’s say KC because of Arrowhead natural turf versus Edward Jones Dome in Stl
    the region is rounded out with Indy and Detroit

    East Coast – one of the remaining three would be dropped, my gut is Baltimore but it is a toss up with them and Philly

    So that leaves:
    Kansas City

  29. LD

    August 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm


    WTF? I get the need for a Florida venue, but that is hardly Florida, far away from the resorts and ethnic populations. The KKK may like that choice though.

    • Los

      August 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

      I don’t know what “LD” stands for..perhaps Learning Disability/Disorder. KKK? Dude where do you get your facts and ideas. For one, JAX is one of largest land mass cities in the US and continues to grow despite US economy problems. People visit resorts to go to theme parks, not major sporting events. I live in JAX and would be a die hard season ticket holder as long as I don’t have drive 4-6 hours to Miami or Tampa just to watch a match. I would think someone from the South would say the same about having to travel North. Central Florida would be an ideal location for a MLS team. Not trying to dis anyone in FL like “LD” is doing.

  30. Casey

    August 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    If US soccer is serious about expanding soccer in this country Indianapolis better get sum world cup games.

    Its never held a major soccer match but stadium is fantastic and indy has always been great hosts to big events like the final four, big ten tourney(every year), Super Bowl(2012), World Championships for basketball, etc.


  31. W A

    August 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Break it down like this

    NY and LA are locks

    SF/OAK, BOS, DC and CHI are likely

    Texas and Florida will at minimum get one city each. HOU and DAL are competing against one another and MIA/ORL/TPA are all against each other.

    That likely leaves only 2 spots for the other cities.

    I say go with Detroit and Seattle.

  32. Whutitdo

    August 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Miami should defintetly NOT be on the list

  33. Rob

    August 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Its not a question of attendance to me (’94 most attended in history), but how Pro-US the crowds are when the US plays. When the US played Honduras back in the spring in Chicago, it was easily a 50/50 split if not more towards Honduras.

    Also, the only bad thing about using American Football stadiums is how far the front rows are away from the field when regular football is being played. Other than that, they are all fantastic venues.

    • eplnfl

      August 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      try 70-30 in favor of the visitors, I was there.

  34. Joe in Indianapolis

    August 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I like the inclusion of Indianapolis despite the fact that we have no professional team, no soccer culture, and a stadium with synthetic turf. I mean… YEA INDY! YEA!

    • Brian Zygo

      August 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      Does the new stadium have synthetic turf? If so, then what was the point of a retractable roof?

      • The Commish

        August 21, 2009 at 1:04 am

        I believe he was talking about the new stadium, and it does have synthetic turf. I don’t know why they wanted to put a retractable roof. I guess so they can get some wind in the stadium. Even though some of the stadiums have synthetic turf, during the World Cup, they would install grass into the field because FIFA requires all World Cup stadium to have grass.

  35. Roger T

    August 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    It is simply a disgrace, Lars that MLS cities like Salt Lake and Columbus are cut while cities that rejected or failed in MLS like Miami and Tampa are on the list. Indianapolis and Cleveland have never even been close to MLS and yet they are on the list. Atlanta last had a soccer team in the early 1980s and they are on the list. San Antonio wants MLS, yet they are crossed off.

    We need to reward the cities that have made soccer in this country, the MLS cities, not simply reward places with large football stadiums and a euro snob crowd.

    • David

      August 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      Are you serious? A world cup game in SLC or Columbus? Those stadiums hold 20,000. No way in hell will a stadium be considered if it doesn’t hold at least 50-60K. FIFA wants to make money on the WC and they will, with ticket sales. It doesn’t matter who the crowd is, just as long as there is one.

      Your Eurosnob comment is idiotic on so many levels. The WC is not an American event, but a WORLD event run by FIFA which is headquartered in France, a country in Europe. I’ll just leave it at that

      • ross

        August 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm

        your an idiot. do some research before you go running your mouth acting like you know something. Crew stadium was not up for a world cup bid but Ohio Stadium, the 2nd largest stadium left which holds 105,000, was.

        It is ashame they arent rewarding cities that have supported soccer teams and advanced the sport here in the states. I do think a regional format would be best.

        • David

          August 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm

          The original post is referring to MLS cities, as if that was the sole determining factor for selection. In response to that implication my remarks are based.

  36. gmonsoon43

    August 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Where are they supposed to play in New Orleans and Minnesota? The dome in Minnesota has become a poor facility, why else do you think that the college team and baseball team are abandoning it, as well as the Vikings wanting a new stadium. And the new football stadium for the gophers is only about 50,000.

    • park bolivar

      August 21, 2009 at 7:35 am

      New Orleans’ Superdome has between 60 and 70k seats (depending on the layout).

  37. Lars

    August 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Little disappointed but not surprised to see Columbus and Salt Lake out, it would have been great for MLS to have World Cup play in these cities.

    Expect Hispanic heavy Texas and California get a few stadia in the mix.

  38. Berlin

    August 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    With the exception of Detroit, I’d be surprised if the host cities changed from the last go round. I’d love to see Houston in the mix but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Brian Zygo

      August 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      Thankfully, from a Houston perspective, the CONCACAF and FIFA officials that were at Reliant during the Gold Cup were very pleased and impressed with Houston as a venue.

      • Ryan

        August 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

        Glad to see the Mexican fans didn’t ruin it for all the people of Houston

        • Mexico is better

          August 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

          Houston will be getting games BECAUSE of Mexican fans, you idiot. Houston football would be nothing without the Mexican community. You are a serious moron. You owe Mexicans alot. Without Mexicans, you’d have no Dynamo, Gold Cup, friendlies, World Cup or All Star Game.


          • Brian Zygo

            August 23, 2009 at 10:56 am

            I understand your point about the Mexican community and football in Houston, and tonight we’ll see what type of impact the Landin signing has in that regards. Unfortunately, your use of insults obscures the point of the post.

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