September 7, 2010
Several US bid stadiums need a little work
NEW YORK -- Here is a quick look at nine stadiums in the U.S. World Cup bid for either the 2018 or 2022 tournaments that need some work.
The 18 host city finalists (alphabetically): Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. The list of host cities includes 21 stadiums that are in compliance with FIFA’s requirements to be included in the bid book to FIFA. With the new Meadowlands Stadium now open, all 21 of the stadiums included in the United States bid currently exist and 18 have been built within the last 20 years. The venues average capacities of more than 76,000 spectators while 12 of the stadiums feature capacities between 75,000 and 94,000 fans.
FIFA’s criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide stadiums 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 or Final Match, a qualification met by seven of the stadiums set for inclusion in the United States bid. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup™ while establishing overall and average attendance records that still stand today despite the expansion of the tournament from 52 to 64 matches beginning in 1998.
In alphabetical order, the nine stadiums:
There are plans to develop a new stadium in Atlanta. These plans would be monintored closely as the final venue selection process continues.
Cowboys Stadium -- The bid committee also secured a full executed stadium cover agreement for the Cotton Bowl, which is another 90,000-plus stadium. Dallas is a candidate for the opening and final games.
Rose Bowl -- Based on the renovation and redevelopment plans, the bid committee also executed a cover agreement with the L.A. Coliseum. L.A. is also a candidate for the opening and final matches.
Dolphin Stadium -- The stadium has the largest playing surface of the proposed WC stadiums. The stadium can accommodate a FIFA regulation field while supported enough field level space to have special field level seating sections with 5,000 temporary seats. So, the WC capacity would be more than 80,000.
New Meadowlands Stadium -- The seating bowl will be modified to accommodate FIFA playing field requirements. A minimum of four rows at the field level and as many as seven rows will be removed and replaced with temporary to accommodate a regulation field.
Lincoln Financial Field -- The stadium was designed to expand at the feild level to host international events. No renovations are required.
The stadium features a roll-out natural grass field under a retractable roof.
Qwest Field -- The bid committee also has secured a stadium coverage agreement for Husky Stadium, a 70,000-plus seat-stadium in Seattle.
Fed Ex Field -- Minor field-level renovations will be required so the pitch could meet FIFA requirements. Some 136 seats will be removed and replaced in each corner with retractable seats that will permit the installation of a FIFA field. This stadium is a candidate for the opener and final.