NEW YORK (September 23, 2009) – Comedic actor Drew Carey, host of “The Price is Right” on CBS, has formally accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its endeavor to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
Part owner of Seattle Sounders FC and Chairman of the club’s member association, the Sounders FC Alliance, Carey is considered one of American soccer’s most avid supporters from the entertainment industry.
“There’s nothing but upside for soccer in America, and I think hosting another World Cup will show the world more evidence of that,” said Carey. “Everyone involved in the USA Bid has a passion for soccer, a passion for winning and success. You can tell that in the effort that’s being put into this campaign, which is why I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Before being named host of “The Price is Right” in July 2007, succeeding longtime host Bob Barker, the stand-up comic turned actor and producer held the distinction of having two hit shows simultaneously: the long-running comedy “The Drew Carey Show” (1995-2004) and the improv/sketch show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on which he served as both host and producer. The success of the latter led to the creation of “Drew Carey’s Improv All-Stars,” an improv troupe that performs in showrooms across the country.
After serving in the Marine Reserves, where he groomed his trademark buzz cut and black wide-rim glasses, Carey started his comedy career in 1986 at the Cleveland Comedy Club. His 1988 appearance on “Star Search” led to subsequent appearances on such programs as HBO’s “14th Annual Young Comedians Special” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” which Carey credits with launching his career.
Carey, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, saw his passion for the sport flourish at an L.A. Galaxy game. An avid supporter of the Galaxy, the U.S. National Team, and such international teams as FC Barcelona, his interest in growing and promoting the game drove him to devote episodes of his Travel Channel national television show, “Drew Carey’s Sporting Adventures” to cover the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany from the perspective of press photographer.
During his travels, Carey became fascinated with the empowerment of supporters at such clubs as Barcelona and Real Madrid, where leadership positions are voted upon by the members. He introduced that concept to Sounders FC, where members now vote on various matters, including the fate of the general manager every four years. Carey is also the driving force for Seattle’s 53-piece marching band, Sound Wave.
“Drew is the perfect example of how those who have the opportunity to experience soccer firsthand are immediately drawn to the game and become passionate fans,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “His enthusiasm for soccer and his constant efforts to promote it makes him resonate with all types of fans that are already doing the same for our sport.”
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.
All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24‑member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
Carey joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed MLS founding investor Philip Anschutz, Univision CEO Joe Uva, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will add additional national leaders from the sectors of sports, entertainment, government and business.
The USA Bid Committee’s efforts has earned the full support of President Barack Obama, who back in April reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In that letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.
On Monday, July 27, Obama and Blatter met at the White House to discuss the U.S. bid and other soccer-related topics. The meeting was marked by Blatter confirming his invitation for President Obama to be his guest at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. President Obama has expressed his interest in attending the event pending availability on his schedule.
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE INC.:
The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24‑member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz, comedian Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala and Univision CEO Joe Uva.