Denver Makes List of Final 18 Potential US World Cup Host Cities

NEW YORK (January 12 2010) – The USA Bid Committee has concluded its eight-month host city selection process and today announced that Denver Colorado is officially on the list of cities that will be included in their official bid book to FIFA to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022.

Denver is among the final eighteen total cities – the maximum allowable by FIFA – that have been identified as official host cities and will be included in the formal bid book that the USA Bid Committee will submit to FIFA on May 14 2010.
These 18 cities represent the entire country in the national bid and will continue working with the USA Bid Committee both on the development and promotion of their local and national campaigns during the next 10 months leading up to FIFA’s final decision scheduled for Dec. 2 2010. The cities will also participate in the planning of the site visits that will be made by a technical delegation from FIFA expected to take place in September 2010.
"We’re definitely excited about this announcement today and we have a lot of confidence in our bid for Denver said Jeff Plush Managing Director of the Rapids. "Between our proposed host venue Invesco Field at Mile High and the other unique attributes of our great city we feel Denver has one of the best bids in the nation.
"It’s a great feeling today and we look forward to continuing the bid process between now and May. This is another big step forward and it’s a long way to go but we have a lot of confidence in the soccer community here in Denver and together we look forward to re-affirming to the world that Denver can serve as world-class hosts to visitors from around the globe."

The 18 cities that have been selected for inclusion in the official USA Bid Committee bid book that will be presented to FIFA are in alphabetical order: 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 United States is equipped and ready to offer FIFA the opportunity to host a passionate and successful World Cup where fans teams partners and media can experience the beautiful game at its highest level while allowing the world soccer family to focus on the utmost mission of the game that benefits the world as a whole said Sunil Gulati the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer.

"Today our hopes of becoming a host nation are strengthened many fold by the announcement of the 18 cities we will submit to FIFA on May 14 continued Gulati. "These 18 cities share outstanding leadership with a vision and understanding of what a FIFA World Cup™ would mean to the United States along with how well we can play the role of host to visitors from throughout the world."

To meet the maximum number of 18 cities that can be included in the official bid book to FIFA the USA Bid Committee had to eliminate nine candidate host cities that had remained under consideration into the final round. In alphabetical order those cities are Charlotte Chicago Cleveland Detroit Jacksonville Oakland Orlando St. Louis and San Francisco. Among the nine eliminated cities four were host cities when the United States previously hosted the FIFA World Cup™ in 1994: Chicago Detroit Orlando and San Francisco.

"By virtue of the quality of our cities and stadiums it was very difficult to reduce the field to the maximum of 18 established by FIFA said David Downs Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. "We consider it a meaningful indicator of the significant growth of soccer in this country that we can put forth such a technically sound bid without four cities that served as hosts for the first FIFA World Cup™ in the United States in 1994. The emergence of passionate followings for the sport and state-of-the-art venues throughout the country has strengthened our ability to put together a truly national bid to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022."

The USA Bid Committee evaluated each city’s bid individually based on 21 key criteria in order to meet FIFA’s bidding requirements. Each city was reviewed on areas ranging from market size geographical location climate existing hotel space and transportation to the availability of adequate training sites distances between facilities diversity and its ability to provide a unique fan experience.

Also of primary consideration was the history of each city related to soccer attraction as a tourist destination and history hosting major sporting or cultural events. The stadiums affiliated with each city were judged based on its capacity premium facilities pitch size and overlay. The technical bid presented by each local organizing committee was crucial to the selection process as well demonstrating the level of support and coordination between local government civic authorities and the community. Also included in the evaluation was the marketing campaign and sustainability plan of each local organizing committee along with the local support logged by their city’s petition counter on www.goUSAbid.com.

"We want to thank all of the cities that were involved in this process for both their passion and dedication to the national cause as well as their endless efforts to present their respective bids said John Kristick Managing Director of the USA Bid Committee. "Since the vast majority of the cities met FIFA’s requirements it was a difficult process to make the final selection. The final group of cities selected exceed all FIFA requirements in all areas including infrastructure community and government support as well as commitment to utilize the FIFA World Cup and the sport of soccer for higher sustainable social and environmental goals."

"Representatives from all 18 cities and their respective stadiums signed agreements that are in full compliance with FIFA’s hosting requirements continued Kristick. "These agreements involved a tremendous amount of coordination between State and local government officials along with representatives from the various stadiums and Convention and Visitors Bureaus. The successful execution of this process is a testament to the commitment being shown throughout the United States to earn the right to host the World Cup."

All 18 cities and their related stadiums have much in common in terms of the venues infrastructure and community support but they also offer unique distinctions for the United States bid:

• All four time zones are represented thereby making this a full national bid in every sense of the word.

• Well known global destinations like New York Los Angeles Miami and Washington D.C. highlight the bid along with emerging cities such as Nashville Seattle and Phoenix.

• Stadiums with rich traditions like the Rose Bowl site of the 1994 FIFA World Cup™ title match are included along with new venues with retractable roofs that offer climate certainty and the newest amenities catering to fan experience and game performance such as Cowboys Stadium.

The list of 18 cities announced by the USA Bid Committee includes 21 stadiums that are in compliance with FIFA’s requirements to be included in the bid book to FIFA. The venues average capacities of more than 78000 spectators and represent a wide spectrum of facilities featuring stadiums typically used for professional football including open-air retractable and hard-roof venues. Twelve of the stadiums feature capacities between 75000 and 94000 fans. The complete list of cities and stadiums can be found at the end of this release and www.goUSAbid.com.

FIFA’s criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide stadiums capable of seating 40000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80000 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.

With the New Meadowlands Stadium on schedule to open across the river from New York City later this year all 21 of the stadiums to be included in the United States bid currently exist and 14 of those have been built within the last 20 years.

The current list of cities for the USA Bid Committee concludes an intensive host city selection process that began in April with representatives from 70 stadiums and more than 50 cities initially expressing interest in being considered for the USA’s bid. The USA Bid Committee then cut the list to 45 stadiums in 38 cities in mid-June following the review of a detailed questionnaire completed by the candidate venues that incorporated the strict FIFA facility requirements into the evaluation process.

Officials representing a total of 38 cities received Requests for Proposal (RFP) and were given from June 16 to July 29 to complete their proposals and return them to the USA Bid Committee. The RFPs requested information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism climate security transportation training sites promotion and more. The RFP process led to the elimination of 11 more cities in August to identify the 27 cities that were included in the on-site review process.

The United States Australia England Japan 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 Indonesia Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022. Mexico withdrew its bid in September. Following that 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.

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 two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on Dec. 2 2010 completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The USA Bid Committee’s efforts have earned the enthusiastic support of President Barack Obama who in April reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the goal of bringing 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.

In July 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.

A delegation from the U.S. Soccer Federation and the USA Bid Committee represented the United States in South Africa at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Final Draw on Dec. 4 2009. One of just seven nations to participate in all six World Cups since 1990 the United States Men’s National Team was placed in Group C with England Algeria and Slovenia. The first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ for the United States will be against England on June 12 in Rustenburg South Africa. The United States earned its place among the field of 32 in South Africa by capturing the top spot in the final round standings in CONCACAF.

In October the USA Bid Committee released a study conducted by an independent consulting firm that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings of the study indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value. The analysis also estimates that between 65000 and 100000 total new jobs would be created in the various host cities during the preparation and operation of the tournament in the year of the event. The study was undertaken by the Economics practice at AECOM formerly Economics Research Associates (ERA) the world’s leading international sports and entertainment attraction consulting firm.

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.
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 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner 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 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 Motion Picture Director Spike Lee California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger University of Miami President Donna Shalala ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper Univision CEO Joe Uva and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information visit goUSAbid.com.