Execs Confirm Copa America's Centennial Edition In '16 Will Be Held In U.S.
CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and U.S. Soccer Federation execs on Thursday jointly confirmed that a special "Centenario" edition of the Copa America, "marking the 100th anniversary of the South American tournament, will be hosted" across the U.S. from June 3-26, 2016, according to Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. U.S. cities "will enter a bid process to become hosts, and it is unknown exactly how many venues will be chosen." It "is expected to be a dozen or more." Sun Life Stadium "is one of the venues expected to be considered because of its proximity to South and Central America and the Caribbean, and its track record of huge crowds" for int'l matches. USSF President Sunil Gulati: "It's wide open how many venues we will use." Kaufman notes it is the "first time the Copa America is held away from South American soil." The regular quadrennial Copa America will be held in Chile in '15 and Brazil in '19. The '16 Copa America "will overlap with the European Championships, which are being held June 10-July 10." It also will "fall two months before" the '16 Rio Games and during MLS' season (MIAMI HERALD, 5/2). In DC, Steven Goff noted large markets like N.Y., L.A., Chicago, Dallas and Miami are "among the natural favorites" to host games. The tournament being held in the U.S. is a "good thing" because with a "considerable Latino fan base and growing interest in the sport across other demographics, tickets will sell in large volume, further accelerating soccer’s momentum as a spectator sport in this country." However, it could be "problematic" in that the soccer calendar already "is tight." European teams' club seasons "end in mid- to late May, just a few weeks before the tournament begins," and fatigue "is sure to set in" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/1).