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USA Bid Committee Issues Requests For Porposals to 37 Potential FIFA World Cup Host Cities For 2018 or 2022


NEW YORK (June 16, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee today announced it has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to officials representing 37 U.S. cities that currently qualify as potential host cities to FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022.

The RFPs issued on Monday request information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, promotion and more. The RFPs are an important step in the United States’ application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The USA Bid Committee also released a short list of 45 stadiums associated with the 37 candidate host cities that represent a wide spectrum of facilities, including stadiums typically used for college and NFL football, domed and retractable roof stadiums, and venues with seating capacities ranging from 45,000-plus to more than 100,000. Forty-four of the 45 stadiums currently exist or are under construction, while one is in the planning stages. A list of the finalists can be found at the end of this news release.

The shortlist of venues comes as a result of an eight-week process where all 58 stadiums that had originally expressed their interest in being considered for the USA’s Bid, were asked to provide detailed information in a questionnaire that reflected strict FIFA requirements.

“Based on the stadium questionnaire 45 stadiums have been identified that we are confident will meet and exceed FIFA’s requirements for hosting FIFA World Cup matches,” said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “In continuing with the selection process, we will now shift our focus to the cities and markets in connection to these venues. We want each city under consideration to have the best opportunity to present their case and, to that end, we are recommending that officials representing these cities, metro markets and stadiums form host city committees in the near future to help move our national bid forward at the local level.”

The 37 cities range in size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Fayetteville, Ark., and Knoxville, Tenn. California leads among U.S. states with five stadiums in consideration, followed by Texas and Florida with four stadiums each.

In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will work with these 37 cities/markets with the intention of announcing a final list of host cities/markets at the end of the year to be included in the Bid Book that will be delivered to FIFA in May 2010.

FIFA’s current criteria requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 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 and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it last played host to the FIFA World Cup in 1994.

The USA Bid Committee has added significant strength to its Board of Directors in recent weeks with the announcement of three new members – current U.S. Men’s National Team star Landon Donovan, U.S. National Women’s Team legend Mia Hamm and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Additional members will be added later this month and throughout the bid process.

The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host to 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.

Passion for World Cup soccer is extremely strong in the United States, as evidenced by the demand for tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. Of the 1.8 million ticket requests that have been received from more than 200 countries, approximately 93,000 have come from fans that live in the United States. Only host South Africa has had more ticket requests.

The USA Bid Committee’s efforts have earned the support of President Barack Obama, who has reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – earlier this spring to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a 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.

“Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally,” President Obama wrote in his letter. “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago.”

“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” President Obama added. “That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”

President Obama echoed those sentiments last month in an exclusive Univision interview conducted at the White House by renowned journalist Jorge Ramos. President Obama’s comments can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeCZOTFfOcA&feature=channel_page.

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 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, 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, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Proposed stadiums, cities and metropolitan markets for further consideration

Metro Market / City Stadium Capacity
Atlanta Georgia Dome 71,250
Baltimore M & T Bank Stadium 71,008
Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field 71,000
Boston Gillette Stadium 71,693
Charlotte Bank of America Stadium 73,778
Chicago Soldier Field 61,000
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium 65,535
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Stadium 72,000
Columbus, Ohio Ohio Stadium 101,568
Dallas Cotton Bowl 89,000
Dallas Cowboys Stadium 100,000
Denver INVESCO Field 76,125
Detroit Ford Field 67,188
Detroit Michigan Stadium 108,000
Fayetteville, Ark. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium 72,000
Houston Reliant Stadium 71,500
Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium 64,200
Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 82,000
Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium 77,000
Knoxville Neyland Stadium 100,011
Las Vegas Sports City USA N/A
Los Angeles Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 93,607
Los Angeles Rose Bowl 92,000+
Miami Land Shark Stadium 75,540
Minneapolis Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,000
Minneapolis TCF Bank Stadium 50,200
Nashville LP Field 69,143
New Orleans Louisiana Superdome 70,000
New York / New Jersey New Meadowlands Stadium 82,000
Orlando Florida Citrus Bowl 65,616
Philadelphia Lincoln Financial 67,594
Phoenix / Glendale Sun Devil Stadium 73,500
Phoenix / Glendale University of Phoenix Stadium 71,000
Pittsburgh Heinz Field 65,000
Salt Lake City Rice-Eccles Stadium 45,603
San Antonio Alamodome 65,000
San Diego Qualcomm Stadium 70,500
San Francisco Stanford Stadium 50,500
San Francisco / Oakland Oakland-Alameda County Stadium 63,026
Seattle Husky Stadium 72,500
Seattle Qwest Field 67,000
St. Louis Edward Jones Dome 67,268
Tampa Raymond James Stadium 65,856
Washington, D.C. FedEx Field 91,704
Washington, D.C.  RFK Stadium 45,600

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