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Time to Redouble our World Cup Bid Efforts


As everyone is well aware, Chicago’s hopes of landing the 2016 Summer Olympic Games came crashing back to Earth last week with a thud. You can place the blame wherever you please, many people are, but you can’t deny that it comes as a blow to our collective sporting ego. It’s at this time that we must accept the fact that Rio simply put forth a superior bid and redouble our efforts to land the World Cup — the world’s largest sporting event — in either 2018 or 2022.

In 1994 the United States, a nation which was still very much in it’s soccer infancy, hosted the most profitable and most attended World Cup of all-time, a pair of record which still stand in October 2009. In 1994 we lacked many adequate stadia to host the event and FIFA bent it’s rules to allow certain venues to host matches, this is a problem we no longer have to worry about, in fact, we have a plethora of world-class venues capable of hosting World Cup football, and with the boom in construction of soccer-specific stadia, many cities are blessed with superb training venues.

While the loss of a potential Olympics in Chicago comes as a blow, it’s not a complete loss. Hosting the Olympics is often a money-losing endeavor, while the 1994 World Cup proved to be the opposite and injected over $4 billion into the nation’s economy, including roughly $500 million in Greater L.A. — site of the final — alone, along with creating thousands of temporary jobs in the hospitality and service industries. With this in mind it should come as no surprise that twenty-seven cities (thirty-two stadiums) have come forth in declaring their interest to host matches should an American bid be successful. Among those cities are Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Nashville, cities that would’ve never dreamed of hosting matches in 1994 are hungry to be involved in a future bid, and indeed the stadiums in Charlotte and Nashville were built with that exact goal in mind.

So, while some of us may upset at Chicago’s loss, and some may be celebrating it, it’s time that band together as a nation and put together a national show we can be proud of, and that’s exactly what a successful World Cup bid would be.

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  1. Tom

    October 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I agree Jay, 2018 should and will be in Europe. England probably, but maybe Belgium/Holland or Spain/Portugal. 2018 is only 24 years after we last had it, a little too soon I beleive; plus, two Western Hemisphere cups in a row seems unlikely. We have should have a good shot at 2022.

  2. Jay

    October 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    2018 is going to be in the EU. More than likely, England. 2022 would make more sense.

  3. tres hermanos

    October 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Did you blow a load in your pants when you were “in the same restaurent [WTF?] as Oprah?” DUH DUH DUH DUH. I’ve noticed that only VERY stupid people wanted or cared about the Olympics. Why is that?

  4. eplnfl

    October 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    correction to the final line:

    do not blow out of proportion the importance of a WC game in your town.

  5. eplnfl

    October 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I am from Chicago as most people here know and badly wanted the Olympics to come to my home town. The fact is due to Olympic politics Chicago never had a chance. I could go into the reasons but simply the US as a whole is only wanted and needed for one thing TV rights money. Otherwise we are not liked or wanted on the international sports scene. Sad but true. The Eurosnobs want to keep their old world privilege free from American influence except when they need our cash. Ok, I’m bitter but it’s a sad fact and we might as well forget any real thought of hosting a World Cup for about 50 years.

    I know many of the younger visitors here desperately want the WC to return to the US. I was around for the 94 WC and Chicago was the site for the opening game and some others in the group stage and if memoray serves me right one game of the quater-finals. Frankly, having a WC game in your town is not much of a game changer for the City the size of Chicago or New York. It was nice ot have the opening game and the President came to town to open the game but in Chicago we sell out Soldier Field for qualifiers or Gold Cup finals.

    In smaller countries the effects may be magnified. Fewer cities to share the games among, more tourists coming to town then normal, and more important people showing up for the first time in town. Ok, maybe I’m spoiled but the President lives here and I’ve seen Blatter in town for the Cold Cup final, and saw the Pope here, not to mention the King of Sweden, Michael Jordon up close and been in the same restaurent as Oprah! Chicago is hosting any number of big games every summer, including soccer, so a WC game is of note and interest, but not a big landmark on the city’s landscape. Few people will see it as a big deal that Chicago hosted the opening game in 1994.

    Ok, I’m blowing off steam but FIFA got what it wanted in 94 and the game of soccer has grown by leaps and bounds since that here. We all saw the large crowds during the European team tours this summer. FIFA has no further need for a games in the US until the money from the US dries up but it shows no sign of doing so.

    I would welcome the WC back but do not hold your breath and do not blow the imprtance of a WC game in one town out of proportion.

  6. viva estadounidenses

    October 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Anyone who thinks in terms of inherently fuzzy concepts like “our collective sporting ego” is full of shit. I’m glad Chicago got hosed, and I hope the World Cup goes to people who deserve it, like any of the conmerbol countries who haven’t had a chance yet.

  7. vic

    October 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Of course Robert, FIfa (sepp blatter) say constantly they want to go to new places. How hard is that to understand? Why is USSF being so greedy in denying the obvious: joint bid strengthens the odds. We may have to slice the financial pie w/Canada but the long term will definately be a positive to US league soccer as the Canadian market will be further developed. Imagine 4 very strong USL or TOA teams after Van & Mon join MLS.

  8. Robert

    October 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Canada and US should do a joint bid since our league is in both countries. might give bid more relevance and our MLS league could see a positive pop on the build up to the CUP.

  9. Rex

    October 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Can you image the 100k watching the game in “JerryWorld” and tens of thousands more watching on the screens outside?

  10. Daniel Feuerstein

    October 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Honestly Bobby, I felt Chicago never had a shot to host the 2016 Olympic Games. But we as a country have a solid chance to host the World Cup for either 2018 or 2022. Blatter knows we can do a fantastic job.

  11. LeaveaComment

    October 5, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Try proofreading!

  12. rofl

    October 5, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    If we want to have a successful bid, we shouldn’t be touting Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Nashville as cities that will host games.

  13. Rafael

    October 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Why doesn’t the U.S. settle on a date? Is it going to be either 2018 or 2022?
    I believe the U.S. should just go all out for the World Cup as early as possible and try to win it in 2018. Going from South America to North America would be the logical choice for the World Cup since it already has been on every continent except North America since 02.

    • Roger

      October 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      There is no reason for the U.S. to settle on one year over another because FIFA is conducting the bid selections simultaneously. Except for Qatar and South Korea which are just bidding for 2022, all the other competing nations are bidding to be the host of either event. Bidding for both just increases our odds of being selected.

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