City advances to next phase of selection process in bid
to host world's largest sporting event
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Philadelphia officials celebrated the announcement by the USA Bid Committee that the city was named one of 18 finalist U.S. cities to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022.
Since last spring, the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Union and many others have partnered in an effort to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to Philadelphia in 2018 or 2022. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter are serving as Honorary Co-chairs for Philadelphia's bid.
The USA Bid Committee, a nonprofit organization created to prepare a successful application for the event on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation, announced the following finalist cities: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
The cities that have been eliminated from consideration are: Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, Oakland, Orlando, St. Louis, and San Francisco. The bid process began with 58 cities last spring, and had seen two cuts to 27 cities, prior to Tuesday's announcement.
Philadelphia will now be a part of the USA Bid Committee's final bid to FIFA, soccer's international governing body on May 14. FIFA is expected to announce the host countries for both 2018 and 2022 in December 2010. Ultimately, 12-to-15 cities are expected to host games. Each host city can typically expect to host four-to-six games over the four weeks of the event.
"It's very exciting for the City of Philadelphia and Lincoln Financial field to compete with some of the finest venues in the country for the World Cup," Eagles president Joe Banner said. "We look forward to working side by side with all of the partners here in the City to provide the highest quality accommodations and hospitality to soccer enthusiasts from around the globe."
"Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are very excited to have the opportunity to be considered for the World Cup," said Gov. Rendell. "This is another fantastic chance for the nation and the world to see what this region has to offer. I expect all of the partners in this effort to continue to work together to make this sports spectacular a reality."
"I am thrilled for the City of Philadelphia and surrounding region to be in this position to put ourselves on an even greater world stage," said Mayor Nutter. "In addition to being an amazing sporting event, the presence of the World Cup would be something that will benefit the citizens, businesses and visitors of the Philadelphia region."
"The Game is in US" marketing campaign was initiated by the USA Bid Committee in recent months in order to generate nationwide support of its efforts to host the World Cup in the U.S. for the first time since 1994. Soccer fans from across the country have been asked to "sign" an online petition for prospective host cities to see which could generate the most signatures. Philadelphia currently ranks fourth in "signatures," behind only Seattle, Atlanta and Houston.
Contested every four years, the FIFA World Cup™ is considered the largest sporting event in the world. Cumulative television viewership from the 2006 event in Germany was estimated at 26 billion. Hosting the event would be a huge boost for soccer in America, as well as the Philadelphia region, with an estimated economic impact of $300-500 million per host city. A USA Bid Committee Economic Impact Study can be found at http://www.gousabid.com/news.
Other countries submitting bids for 2018 and 2022 are: Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands, England, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Portugal. Korea Republic, Indonesia, and Qatar submitted bids just to host in 2022.
Sign the petition for Philadelphia at www.gousabid.com/Philadelphia.