Video footage of handover ceremony available at 1 p.m. ET;
Podcast of conference call with Sunil Gulati, David Downs to be on goUSAbid.com
NEW YORK (May 14, 2010) – A delegation from the USA Bid Committee submitted the official United States Bid Book to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in a formal ceremony at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, today.
Representing the 90 million soccer fans in the United States, the delegation from the USA Bid Committee included 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 delegation presented the bid book to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
The United States and eight competing bids each had 15 minutes to present their bid book and engage in a question and answer session with assembled media following the ceremony. The submission of the official bid books begins 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 faith in our ability to bring the World Cup back to the United States.”
In addition to the United States, Australia, England and Russia formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 by presenting their bid books to FIFA today as well. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain each submitted 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.
Last week the Mexican Soccer Federation made its public declaration of support for the U.S. bid when association President Justino Compeán, speaking from the Mexico-Ecuador friendly at the sold-out new Meadowlands Stadium on May 7, said “the USA has the infrastructure, and the will to organize the World Cup."
The USA Bid Committee also released a new video at goUSABid.com to rally support for bringing the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ back to the US. The link to the video, which shows the widespread passion for soccer amongst Americans, can be found here: http://www.gousabid.com/pages/video-signup.
“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. The 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 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 or renovated 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.