CONCACAF confirms 10 sites for 2016 Copa America Centenario
CONCACAF confirmed the 10 host cities and stadiums for Copa America Centenario Thursday, narrowing down from the 24 candidates submitted earlier in the year and selecting venues with a minimum seating capacity of 60,000.
CenturyLink Field in Seattle; Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California; the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California; University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; NRG Stadium in Houston; the Citrus Bowl in Orlando; MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; Soldier Field in Chicago; and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will host the combined CONCACAF-CONMEBOL 16-team spectacle.
ESPNFC previously reported that MetLife Stadium would be the host for the final, though CONCACAF did not confirm nor dispute that in Thursday's announcement.
“These 10 cities and venues will provide a fantastic setting for fans across the world to attend Copa America Centenario and allow them to see the amazing passion for soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “The participating teams and fans will be treated to a first-class environment in each city and stadium, adding to the world-class talent that will be competing on the field. We are looking forward to working closely with all of the cities and venues in hosting this prestigious event and creating an extraordinary experience for fans.”
The tournament had been in limbo due to its connection to over $100 million in bribes for marketing rights tied to the FIFA scandal, but CONCACAF and CONMEBOL severed ties with marketing firm Datisa, which paved the way for U.S. Soccer to sign off on hosting the competition, which will run from June 3-26. With the tournament on the FIFA calendar, participating nations are expected to have the ability to call on their top players, with clubs obligated to release them.
The USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and winners of the Panama-Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago-Haiti playoffs will join the 10 CONMEBOL nations for the tournament, which marks the 100th anniversary of Copa America.