Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I am very curious to see where US Soccer chooses to select as stadiums for the World Cup bids today. To me, the bid committee has to decide between two general philosophies when choosing venues.
- Reward cities and regions that have shown a long history of supporting, spectating, and participating in soccer.
- Use the World Cup as an opportunity to take the game to some places where it otherwise wouldn’t go, such as the interior South (say, Atlanta or Nashville).
Now, I am not suggesting the bid ignore regions of the country where the college and professional men’s game lacks traction, it just means that it might come down to going with a fourth or fifth East coast venue (after mortal locks Boston, New York, and Washington) such as Baltimore or Philadelphia at the price of a venue like Indianapolis or Jacksonville (Especially if they already say yes to Miami.) The same question could be said about the West coast. Would a fourth West coast venue like San Diego (after locks LA, NoCal, and Seattle) cause a Phoenix or Denver to miss out?
The other question I have is whether this is going to be the phase at which cities with potential stadium issues (this means you, St. Louis and Atlanta) get culled.
Here are my preferred picks, not my prediction of where the USSF will go.
- New York – Giants Stadium
- Boston – Gilette Stadium
- Washington – FedEx Field
- Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
- Baltimore – Ravens Stadium
- Charlotte – Whatever they call the Panthers’ stadium
- Miami – Dolphins Stadium
- Chicago – Soldier Field
- Dallas – The Death Star
- Houston – Reliant Field
- Nashville – LP Field
- Phoenix – U of Phoenix Stadium
- Los Angeles – Future NFL stadium in City of Industry
- San Francisco – Hopefully a new Niners stadium
- Seattle – Qwest Field
- Denver – Whatever it’s called at Mile High
- Cleveland – Browns Stadium
- Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
I wish St. Louis and Atlanta had a better stadium situations. Otherwise I would’ve whacked Cleveland or Tampa easily.
My only prediction is that the Hunt family will wrangle a spot for Kansas City. As you can see above, I disagree with that.