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September 6, 2010
FIFA delegation to tour five cities

NEW YORK -- The campaign for the United States to be selected as host of the 2018 or 2022 World Cup has reached arguably the most important phase for the USA Bid Committee as the FIFA inspection delegation began its U.S. visit on Monday.

Their visit will run through Thursday.

The six-person delegation was scheduled to arrive in New York City on Monday, ahead of a three-day visit of five U.S. cities representing the 18 candidate host cities of the United States bid Ė New York/New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas and Houston. During this tour, the delegation will have the opportunity to view and inspect firsthand some of the U.S. bidís proposed stadiums, training sites, FIFA Fan Fest venues, transportation, hotels, media facilities among other facilities.

Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president and bid committee chairman, and the USA Bid Committee will host the FIFA Inspection Delegation led by Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the president of the Chile Football Association. The delegation also includes Dr. Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organizing committee in South Africa; JŁrgen MŁller, FIFA head of event management; Wolfgang Eichler, FIFA media officer; David Fowler, FIFA marketing and Julio Avellar, FIFA competitions.

Representatives of all 18 United States candidate host cities will be among the first people to greet the FIFA delegation on Monday, when they gather for a private reception at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to celebrate the delegationís arrival in the United States.

Highlights of the three-day, five-city tour include:

* Visits to proposed FIFA World Cupô stadiums for all five markets: the New Meadowlands Stadium for New York/New Jersey, FedExField for Washington D.C., Sun Life Stadium for Miami, Cowboys Stadium for Dallas, and Reliant Stadium for Houston.

* A tour of Red Bull Arena, home of the Red Bulls. Red Bull Arena opened this year and is an example of the training sites proposed for 2018 or 2022.

* Tours of a number of proposed sites for World Cup related activities, such as preliminary and final draws, FIFA Congress, International Broadcast Center and FIFA Fan Fests.

Meetings with soccer figures, city leaders and celebrities in each market.

The schedule

Monday (New York City)

* 5:30 p.m. -- Estimated arrival of FIFA Delegation at St. Regis Hotel

* Private reception with representatives of 18 U.S. candidate host cities

Tuesday (New York City, Washington, D.C.)

* 10:30 a.m. -- Media briefing at St. Regis Hotel, second floor Versailles Room, featuring Mayne-Nicholls and Gulati

* Tour of Javits Center, one of the proposed sites for Preliminary or Final Draw

* Tour of Red Bull Arena, one of the bidís proposed training sites.

* Tour of New Meadowlands Stadium, one of the bidís proposed stadiums

* Delegation flies to Washington, D.C.

* Visit to George Mason University, one of the bidís proposed base camp training sites

* Private dinner with local soccer and political leadership

Wednesday (Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas)

* Tour of the Washington Monument, one of the bidís proposed Fan Fest sites

* Tour of FedExField, one of the bidís proposed stadiums

* Delegation flies to Miami

* Tour of Sun Life Stadium, one of the bidís proposed stadiums

* Tour of Miami Beach Convention Center, one of the proposed Final Draw sites

* Delegation flies to Dallas

Thursday (Dallas, Houston)

* Tour of Dallas Convention Center, one of the proposed FIFA Congress sites

* Tour of Cowboys Stadium, one of the bidís proposed stadiums

* Delegation flies to Houston

* Tour of Reliant Stadium, one of the bidís proposed stadiums

* Tour of George R. Brown Convention Center, one of the proposed sites for the International Broadcast Center

* 5 p.m. ET media briefing at George R. Brown Convention Center, featuring Nicholls and Gulati

* Delegation departs United States

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