US World Cup Bid pares 11 cities from list

US Soccer announced today that it had narrowed the list of candidate cities for the 2018/2022 to 27.

Let’s start with the eliminations:

  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Antonio, Tex.

I guess the only surprise for me, and it’s a small one, is Pittsburgh and Heinz Field. As I said in an earlier column, it’s locked in a death match for Midwest venues with Cleveland, KC, St. Louis, and Detroit. Other than that, the eliminations seem appropriate. Salt Lake fans can feel a bit aggrieved, but I just don’t think Rice-Eccles was big enough.


22 thoughts on “US World Cup Bid pares 11 cities from list

  1. I guess San Antonio got eliminated because the Alamo Dome is an indoor stadium? Other than that San Antonio would be a way better place to hold games than Dallas would.
    Also, I’m kinda surprised they didn’t keep Las Vegas on the list longer so they could parade the Executive Comittee around with a bunch of strippers.

  2. Too bad for New Orleans. If there was ever a town that is made to host big sporting events, it’s the Big Easy. Most of the hotels are walking distance to the venue and the tourist zone.

  3. It’s been explained to me on several occasions that the reason Las Vegas has never landed a major sports franchise is that owners are leery of the strong gambling connection.

    In a sense that seems foolish, as there’s tons of online betting anyhow, illegal bookmakers in every city, and so on. But I’ve heard this before from several sources more than once. Maybe it’s more of an issue of fear of the perception than reality, I don’t know. Could that be a factor here? Possibly…

  4. Is Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati too narrow, or is it the artificial surface? Just curious because it is a very cool stadium. And I am not from Cincinnati, I am from Milwaukee, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. I just have been to gridiron games there and think it is a nice facility.

  5. I’ve heard it suggested that because casinos run 24 hours a day, Las Vegas has an incredibly high number of people who work odd shifts, thus drawing fans to events or even getting good television numbers, is more difficult than it might seem given the population.

  6. Obviously I wouldn’t expect us to actually play World Cup games in Las Vegas, but that local has the potential to be very persuasive for some of the FIFA execs. Kicking them out this early decreases the chance of the US getting Blatter really happy with a bunch of hookers

  7. I’m honestly surprised that it’s made it this far. I guess that having a grass field, a brand-new expanded capacity, a much better location than Arlington, and some actual soccer history counts for something.

    Or maybe, in a rare display of non-idiocy by the City of Dallas, they’re really kicking some financial incentives in the direction of the bid committee to make their bid more attractive.

    Whatever. Like I said, I’m shocked it made it this far. Maybe the bid committee will go nutty on us and name both D/FW stadiums to the final list. And I would go nutso with schadenfreude if the impossible happened and the Cotton Bowl made it and JerryWorld didn’t after all his yap-running about how he’d like to host the final there.

  8. The Silverdome hosted four first round games. It was an almost herculean task to do so. Sod had to be installed and it went to crap almost immediately, with huge patches of dead grass and dirt in the last matches. It proved a game could be had in an indoor stadium, but also that it wasn’t very efficient to do so. I figure that’s why USSF left San Antonio out of the bid.

  9. On that note, I am still kind of surprised that RFK is still in there along with both FedEx Field and M&T Bank field in Baltimore. FedEx Field is huge and features more suites and club level seats than the other two, but completely lacks in every other category. I reminded of this earlier this month when I spent a miserable afternoon out there for DC-Real Madrid.

    I am wondering if they are leaving all three around to ensure one is left standing since Daniel Snyder could try and screw them at FedEx (like he does everyone else) and RFK management has gotten bitchy and stomped off from FIFA before (99 Womens WC). If you were going on just fan experience from beginning to end, the best stadium by far is Baltimore. That said, I see Snyder and the FIFA weasels being somewhat kindred spirits, so I suspect FedEx will likely get the nod.

  10. I shot a ChampionsWorld (or the SUM equivalent) game at Heinz Field back on 2004 or 2005. Of the modern NFL stadiums, it was the narrowest of the lot that I’ve shot at. I’m not even sure the field was 66 yards wide. The amount of work needed to get a World Cup Finals in there would be far more substantial that what it would take at a stadium like Arrowhead. Probably something on the order of what they did to old Foxboro Stadium for the 94 World Cup.

  11. Problem with the bid is that the US is fighting an uphill battle here. Blatter has been very open about how displeased he is with what he perceives as a failure to promote the sport by the USSF. Also, he’s not buying the whole having a world cup is a great way to create exposure in America strategy, one of the main tools Alan Rothenberg used to get the world cup in 94. Hopefully Obama’s recent involvement in promoting the cause will help out some.

  12. San Antonio has the Riverwalk, hotels, restaurants, and bars right next to the Alamo Dome. Too bad for San Antonio.

    San Antonio needed a strong local group to campaign for hosting the WC.

  13. Where do you get the idea that the USA bid is fighting an uphill battle.

    I’d be very surprised if the USA doesn’t receive either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup based on the financial success of the 1994 World Cup.

    To date, it still holds the record for highest World Cup attendance ever with an average per game of nearly 70000 fans and is recognized as one of the most financially succesful world cup events ever.

    I do think it more likely that USA lands 2022 with the 2018 WC somewhere in Europe, as there have never been 2 successive world cups held outside Europe.

    A good guess assuming the Europe continues to get every other WC and that Asia, Africa, and South America will have all hosted relatively recent events would be that a European country gets 2018, Australia or USA get 2022, a European country gets 2026, and then either Australia or USA (whoever doesn’t have it in 2022) gets it in 2030.

    The Wild Card is Mexico, but I simply don’t believe that FIFA will be able to overlook the financial benefits of the USA when selecting a North American country.

  14. There’s still five domed stadiums in contention including…
    The Georgia Dome (Atlanta)
    Edward Jones Dome (St.Louis)
    University of Phoenix Stadium
    Lucas Oil Stadium (Indy)
    Ford Field (Detroit)
    I wouldn’t think more than two would get chosen, and against the remaining cities, San Antonio just didn’t measure up.

  15. I think that “Welcome to Cincinatti” isn’t putting the US’s best foot forward with regards to thousands of tourists visiting the country…

  16. Mr. F,

    I called it an uphill battle because as we all know Blatter seems to be kind of an idiot (a nice way of calling him a total and unequivocal one). In the past he has been groaning about how the US has failed to live up to a lot of the promises it made about promoting football in the US and making the MLS one of the premiere sports leagues in the US.

    The man can be petty and thick, ignoring the financial upside to prove a point. I don’t doubt the US could organize a good world cup, what i cast into doubt is Blatter’s willingness to hand it to the US out of pettiness.

  17. I was at those 4 games, and yes, the system of hexagonal trays of grass, imported one at a time by forklift, was novel–but ineffective. It’s why we have stadiums like Phoenix’s today, where the whole field is rolled in from outside.

    I don’t expect Ford Field to make it–it’s a great, great stadium, but the field issues are very tough to work around.

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