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Copa America Centenario will be hosted in USA during 2016


It’s confirmed. The 2016 Copa America, the 100th anniversary edition of the tournament, will be held in the United States.

The prestigious South American soccer championship, run by CONMEBOL, will partner with CONCACAF to host many of the best countries from both regions in the tournament, which will be played across the United States from June 3-26 in various venues.

Copa America Centenario will feature the following countries:

• Argentina,
• Brazil,
• Chile,
• Colombia,
• Ecuador,
• Uruguay,
• Bolivia,
• Paraguay,
• Peru, and
• Venezuela.

In addition to the CONMEBOL countries, USA and Mexico are automatic qualifiers. Costa Rica and Jamaica will also participate. Lastly, the two final teams will be determined via a playoff to be played in the near future.

Earlier this year, 24 metropolitan areas showed interest in hosting matches during the tournament and submitted a proposal to U.S. Soccer. A minimum seating capacity of 50,000 is required for tournament venues.

The stadiums reportedly being considered as venues for the tournament include:

• Rose Bowl, Pasadena
• Stanford Stadium, Stanford
• MetLife Stadium, New Jersey
• NRG Stadium, Houston
• Citrus Bowl, Orlando
• CenturyLink, Seattle
• Georgia Dome, Atlanta
• M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
• Soldier Field, Chicago
• FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
• Mile High, Denver
• Ford Field, Detroit
• Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
• University of Phoenix, Arizona
• Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
• Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
• Nissan Stadium, Nashville
• Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
• Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
• Edward Jones Dome, St Louis
• Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
• EverBank Field, Jacksonville
• AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
• FedEx Field, Landover

SEE MORE: FOX Sports on verge of acquiring US TV rights to Copa America Centenario.

In an interview with World Soccer Talk Radio, Soccer marketing expert John Guppy, founder of Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing, believes that the Copa America Centenario has the opportunity to be the next major milestone for the growth of the sport in the United States. Guppy compared the tournament to a mini-World Cup, and believes it could be the biggest soccer event in the US since the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The opening game of the tournament, set to take place on June 3, could present a conflict for whichever players appear in late May’s UEFA Champions League final. Players like Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil), and Luis Suarez (Uruguay), or Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez (Colombia), Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez or Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal (both Chile) could potentially face abrupt turnarounds, if their clubs reach May 28’s Milan final.

While it was anticipated that FOX Sports would acquire the TV rights to the Copa America Centenario for US television, the press release from US Soccer says that “CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have reclaimed their respective broadcast and sponsorship rights for this event by ending their relationships with Datisa, S.A. The Confederations will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) publicly to ensure transparency and accountability in the selection of new commercial partners.” As a result, it means that it’s likely that FOX Sports will have to bid for the rights again, but may face stiff competition for English-language rights from NBC Sports and beIN SPORTS.

The tournament will overlap with Euro 2016, which will be played from June 10-July 10 and will be shown across ESPN’s networks. The win-win for soccer fans in the US is that they’ll be able to watch several games in the early afternoons and then either attend or watch Copa America games in the evening and late night.

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  1. NaBUru38

    October 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Brazil and Argentina are located in utc-3, so don’t expect 10 pm Eastern matches.

  2. MikeReece

    October 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I certainly hope they do not host the final at the Rose Bowl on a late June afternoon in torrid temperatures producing a dreadfully dull final. Hopefully US Soccer learned a lesson with the WC 94 Final and the WWC 99 Final, two of the worst finals ever played due to the mid afternoon heat and humidity.

    I would hope the final would be in the evening in relatively cooler temperatures, but I’m concerned US Soccer will go for the allure of the sizable Rosebowl crowd and LA location. We’ll then proceed to have another awful final and all the soccer haters will be chuckling with glee.

  3. OT

    October 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    NBC Sports is tied up with NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and Roland Garros (French Open Tennis) June 2016.

    ESPN (ABC) is tied up with NBA playoffs and Euro 2016 during June 2016.

    That means FOX Sports will likely win the U.S. English-language rights to Copa Centenario, essentially by default.

    As for Spanish-language U.S. rights: Univision bought the rights over a year ago. Even if those rights were to go out to bid again, one would have to believe that Univision will (over)bid again in order to keep those rights from NBC Deportes. Univision absolutely will have to do whatever it takes to protect Univision Deportes Network (UDN). There is no way Univision can allow NBC Deportes to get its hands on enough inventory to even think about launching “NBC Deportes Network” (NBCDN).

    I don’t see beIN putting in a competitive bid for rights in English or Spanish. beIN prefers to use brokers to conduct sports media rights transactions “in private”.

    • Jame

      October 23, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      The conflicts you listed for NBC aren’t actually conflicts at all. By the time Copa America starts on June 3, the Stanley Cup finals would have just started with only 2/7 of the matches airing on NBCSN so on those two nights the Copa matches could air on CNBC. Plus it’s Roland Garros finals weekend with those matches airing early morning on NBC so no conflict. But even without those conflicts I agree that Fox will likely regain the rights to the tournament,

  4. OT

    October 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Surprised not to see (Levi’s) Santa Clara Stadium on the short list.

    The 49ers need all the revenue Santa Clara Stadium can generate to pay off construction debt.

    (Qualcomm) San Diego Stadium is an absolute DUMP. Other than location (less than 20 miles from the U.S-Mexico border), I don’t understand how that stadium is the short list.

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