Thursday, January 8, 2015, The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) revealed today the 24 U.S. metropolitan areas which have indicated interest in hosting matches during the 2016 Centennial Cup America.
These cities are planning to submit a proposal to the event’s Local Organizing Committee, U.S. Soccer, to host matches during the historic centennial edition of the South American championship. The 2016 edition of tournament, which will take place in June, will mark the first time this world class event has been staged outside of South America.
“We are looking forward to taking the first step in the organization of this historic event that will unite the Americas and the world in 2016,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “The unique opportunities that we have with the Centennial Cup America, flanked by the 2015 and 2017 Gold Cups, will help set the stage to demonstrate how our region is ready to welcome back another FIFA World Cup in 2026.”
“This historic event is the best way to honor our football founders,” said CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout. “It is also a unique opportunity to widen the football landscape across the three Americas and to that matter, I would like to thank President Webb for his vision to embark in this joint CONMEBOL and CONCACAF project.”
It is anticipated that between eight and 13 stadiums will ultimately be selected. One important factor in determining the winning bids will be a recommended stadium seating capacity of at least 50,000, as this high-profile tournament is sure to draw multitudes of fans to each stadium selected.
“The interest level from cities across the nation has been phenomenal,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Everyone understands the tournament will be a huge event during the summer of 2016 and it’s exciting to see all of these cities putting together bids to be involved. While we’re just in the beginning stages of preparing to serve as host, we already are starting to see the impact and interest the tournament will have with soccer fans across the United States.”
The deadline for the venues competing to host a portion of the tournament to submit a proposal is March 16, 2015. The winning communities will be announced in May. Fans wishing to receive updated ticketing information as the process moves forward may sign up here.
The 2016 Centennial Cup America, which will take place in June 2016, will feature six teams from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and all 10 teams from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
From CONCACAF, host United States and Mexico are automatic qualifiers, while Costa Rica (2014 Central American Cup winner) and Jamaica (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup winner) qualified with regional championships last year. The final two teams from CONCACAF will be determined via a playoff to be held among the top four finishers at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup not already qualified for the Centennial Cup America.
The South American field for the tournament features Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Uruguay is the standard bearer for Copa America titles, with 15 since the tournament began in 1916 as the South American Championship of Nations.
Aside from Atlanta 🙂 what other cities would you like to see host matches?