USA Bid Committee Submitting Official Bid Book This Friday to Host 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup in U.S.
NEW YORK (May 10, 2010) – The USA Bid Committee will take a crucial step in its drive to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ when its five-person delegation submits the official Unites States Bid Book to FIFA on Friday, May 14. The U.S. Bid Book will be submitted in a formal ceremony at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.
Representing the 90 million soccer fans in the United States, the delegation from the USA Bid Committee will include U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, USA Bid Committee Executive Director David Downs, USA Bid Committee Managing Director John Kristick and U.S. Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra. The fifth member of the U.S. delegation will be announced later in the week. The delegation will present the bid book to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
The United States and eight competing bids will each have 15 minutes to present their bid book and conduct a question and answer session with assembled media during this ceremony that is open to the media. The submission of the official bid books begin a seven-month review process that will include site visits by FIFA Executive Committee members to each bidding nation and culminate with the selection of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups on December 2, 2010, in Zurich.
“Submitting the U.S. Bid Book to FIFA is a major milestone in this process and the result of months of planning and hard work,” said Sunil Gulati, Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “But it also marks the beginning of the most critical portion of this bid in which we must make a compelling case to the 24-member FIFA Executive Committee that the United States is the right country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The support our effort has received from the people and civic leaders of this country has been tremendous and strengthens our resolve in our ability to bring the World Cup back to the United States.”
In addition to the United States, Australia, England and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 and will present their bid books to FIFA on Friday as well. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain will each submit joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Japan, Qatar and South Korea are only bidding to host the tournament in 2022. Indonesia withdrew its bid in March 2010, while Mexico withdrew its bid in September 2009. Following the Mexico announcement, CONCACAF issued a public endorsement for the United States bid in November that pledged the full support of soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
“For the first time in our nation’s history we will be competing for two World Cups in 2010, one on the field in South Africa one month from now and one off the field in the intense competition to host the event in 2018 or 2022,” said David Downs, USA Bid Committee Executive Director. “Hosting the FIFA World Cup in 1994, still the most-attended World Cup in history, introduced international soccer to mainstream America. Friday’s bid book submission ceremony, in all of its pageantry, will be an important step towards our mission of taking American soccer to the next level.”
The U.S. Bid Book includes 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.
Media will be able to cover the bid book handover ceremonies of each of the bidding nations. Each delegation attending Friday’s handover ceremony will be greeted on stage by President Blatter and Secretary General Valcke of FIFA, with the head of the delegation joining them at the center of the stage where Blatter will make a welcome address to the delegation. The head of the delegation will then make a short address to FIFA and make the official handover of the bid book to Blatter who will conclude the presentation with thank you remarks to the bidding delegation and a photograph with the entire delegation at the center of the stage. Blatter and Valcke will then leave the stage with the bid book and the representatives of the bidding delegations will be able to speak with the assembled media for 15 minutes.
FIFA previously established that the bid books will be submitted in alphabetical order, with the United States presenting in the final spot and the rest of the list as follows (listed as local Zurich time):
Australia 9-9:15 a.m.
England 9:45-10 a.m.
Holland/Belgium 10:30-10:45 a.m.
Japan 11:15-11:30 a.m.
Korea Republic 12-12:15 p.m.
Qatar 2-2:15 p.m.
Russia 2:45-3 p.m.
Spain/Portugal 3:30-3:45 p.m.
USA 4:15-4:30 p.m.
“It has been a tremendous honor and exciting challenge to compile the USA Bid,” said John Kristick, USA Bid Committee Managing Director. “FIFA established a very high standard in the bidding process and I am proud of how our team – the Bid Committee, the host cities, stadiums, training sites and hotels from across our country – rose to the challenge. While this is an important step, we must remain focused on the work ahead, including the important FIFA Technical Inspection Tour in September.”
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 clear and simple: 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 USA Bid Committee Executive Director is David Downs. 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, Counselor to President Clinton Douglas Band, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, 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, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Univision CEO Joe Uva, Wasserman Media Group Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information, visit goUSAbid.com.