August 20, 2009
IN THE RUNNING
Gillette makes cut down of World Cup sites
NEW YORK –Boston is one of 27 citied that passed the third stage of the USA Bid Committee’s city and stadium proposal review process and remain under consideration as potential host venues for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Gillette Stadium is one of 32 stadiums still on the list of potential venues.
A total of 38 cities received the Requests for Proposal and had from June 16 to July 29 to complete their proposals and return them to the USA Bid Committee. The RFPs requested information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, training sites, and promotion.
The process resulted in 11 cities being pulled from contention Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Tex.
“The overwhelming interest and creativity shown by the candidate cities made our extensive review process that much more difficult in narrowing down the list” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer.
The United States’ application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA and its 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
The 27 remaining candidate cities offer a wide variety of markets that range in size from New York City to Jacksonville, Fla., as well as vast coast-to-coast geographic strength. Numerous U.S. markets that did not play host to matches during FIFA World Cup in 1994 remain under consideration, including Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix. The old Foxboro Stadium was one of the nine venues that hosted the 1994 World Cup
The remaining stadiums under consideration average almost 74,000 in capacity and represent a wide spectrum of facilities, featuring stadiums typically used for college and professional football, including open-air, domed and retractable roof venues. All 32 stadiums currently exist or are under construction with eight featuring capacities between 80,000 and 108,000 spectators.
The bid process began in April with 58 stadiums expressing interest in being considered for the USA’s bid. The first cut down was to 45 stadiums in 38 cities in mid-June.
“We will be working closely with officials from all 27 cities, stadiums and host committees over the next few months in our process of identifying the final list of cities that will be included in our bid book to FIFA in May 2010,” said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee,
FIFA’s criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.