Scott Riddell / MLSSoccer.com

USA Bid Committee, Houston to host FIFA

The campaign for the United States to be selected as host of the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 will move to the next phase for the USA Bid Committee when the FIFA Inspection Delegation visits the U.S. next week, Monday, Sept. 6, to Thursday, Sept. 9.

The six-person delegation will arrive in New York City on Monday, Sept. 6, ahead of a three-day visit of five U.S. cities representing the 18 candidate host cities of the United States bid – New York/New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas, and Houston. During this important tour, the FIFA Inspection Delegation will have the opportunity to experience firsthand some of the U.S. bid’s proposed stadiums, training sites, FIFA Fan Fest venues, transportation, hotels, media facilities, and much more.

“On behalf of our cities and people, the USA Bid Committee is honored to welcome the FIFA Delegation to the United States,” said Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of USA Bid Committee. “Our respect for the importance of this visit is matched only by our passion for the game and our commitment to deliver a bid that will be considered worthy of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. To the FIFA family and the global soccer community, we pledge and promise our very best and look forward to sharing our vision with the FIFA Delegation throughout the tour next week.”

Gulati and the USA Bid Committee will host the FIFA Inspection Delegation led by Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the president of the Chile Football Association. The FIFA Delegation also includes: Dr. Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organizing committee in South Africa; Jürgen Müller, FIFA Head of Event Management; Wolfgang Eichler, FIFA Media Officer; David Fowler, FIFA Marketing; and Julio Avellar, FIFA Competitions.

Representatives of all 18 United States candidate host cities will be among the first people to greet the FIFA Delegation on Monday, Sept. 6, when they gather for a private reception at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to celebrate the FIFA Delegation’s arrival in the United States.

Highlights of the three-day, five-city tour include:

  • Visits to proposed FIFA World Cupstadiums for all five markets: the New Meadowlands Stadium for New York/New Jersey, FedExField for Washington D.C., Sun Life Stadium for Miami, Cowboys Stadium for Dallas, and Reliant Stadium for Houston.
  • A tour of Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.  Red Bull Arena opened this year and is an example of the training sites proposed for 2018 or 2022.
  • Tours of a number of proposed sites for FIFA World Cuprelated activities, such as Preliminary and Final Draws, FIFA Congress, International Broadcast Center, and FIFA Fan Fests.
  • Meetings with soccer figures, city leaders, and celebrities in each market.

The USA Bid Committee will distribute a media wrap-up at the end of each day of the FIFA Technical Inspection Tour, detailing the activities in each one of the markets.

The tour will also present the opportunity for the USA Bid Committee to convey many of the legacy aspects of the USA Bid to the FIFA Delegation, including those in the soccer, social, and environmental areas.

The USA Bid Committee on May 14 submitted to FIFA its comprehensive bid to host the FIFA World CupTM in 2018 or 2022.  The 24‑member FIFA Executive Committee will make its decision on hosts for both tournaments on Thursday, Dec. 2, at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.


Monday, September 6 – New York City
-          5:30 p.m. ET estimated arrival of FIFA Delegation at St. Regis Hotel
-          Private reception with representatives of 18 U.S. candidate host cities

Tuesday, September 7 – New York City – Washington, D.C.
-          10:30 a.m. ET media briefing* at St. Regis Hotel, second floor Versailles Room, featuring Harold Mayne-Nicholls, head of the FIFA Inspection Delegation, and Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of USA Bid Committee
-          Tour of Javits Center, one of the proposed sites for Preliminary or Final Draw
-          Tour of Red Bull Arena, one of the bid’s proposed training sites
-          Tour of New Meadowlands Stadium, one of the bid’s proposed stadiums
-          Delegation flies to Washington, D.C.
-          Visit to George Mason University, one of the bid’s proposed base camp training sites
-          Private dinner with local soccer and political leadership 

Wednesday, September 8 – Washington, D.C. – Miami – Dallas
-          Tour of the Washington Monument, one of the bid’s proposed Fan Fest sites
-          Tour of FedExField, one of the bid’s proposed stadiums
-          Delegation flies to Miami
-          Tour of Sun Life Stadium, one of the bid’s proposed stadiums
-          Tour of Miami Beach Convention Center, one of the proposed Final Draw sites
-          Delegation flies to Dallas

Thursday, September 9 – Dallas – Houston
-          Tour of Dallas Convention Center, one of the proposed FIFA Congress sites
-          Tour of Cowboys Stadium, one of the bid’s proposed stadiums
-          Delegation flies to Houston
-          Tour of Reliant Stadium, one of the bid’s proposed stadiums
-          Tour of George R. Brown Convention Center, one of the proposed sites for the International Broadcast Center
-          Greeted by student ambassadors from the following Houston-area schools: St Francis de Sales, St Francis of Assisi, and Our Lady of Guadalupe
-          4 p.m. CT media briefing* at George R. Brown Convention Center, featuring Harold Mayne-Nicholls, head of the FIFA Inspection Committee, and Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of USA Bid Committee
-          FIFA Delegation departs United States

* Media looking attend the briefing session in New York on Sept. 6 and/or Houston on Sept. 9 are strongly encouraged to email goUSAbid@fleishman.com to state their intention to attend due to limited space at both locations

Photo opportunities at other stops on the tour listed above will be available, with more information to be provided in the days ahead.

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 simple and clear: 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. For more information, visit www.ussoccer.com.

The USA Bid Committee is a nonprofit 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. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati is Chairman of the USA Bid Committee, David Downs is the Executive Director and President Bill Clinton is the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors that includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian Drew Carey, former boxer Oscar De La Hoya, American soccer stars Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, actor Morgan Freeman, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, director Spike Lee, actor Brad Pitt and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Fox Soccer Channel is an official sponsor of the U.S. Bid. The U.S. Bid includes 18 candidate host cities: 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 U.S. Bid also features 21 currently existing stadiums, 18 of which have been built or renovated in the last 20 years and all of which are in compliance with FIFA requirements. With an average capacity of more than 76,000 spectators, the stadiums in the U.S. Bid offer the availability of a World Cup-record five million tickets that would generate $1 billion in ticket sales. For more information on the U.S. Bid, visit goUSAbid.com.

Neil Buethe
, U.S. Soccer, 312/528-1270, nbuethe@ussoccer.org
Jurgen Mainka, USA Bid Committee, 212/450-1403, jmainka@usabidcommittee.org
Jim Woodcock, Fleishman-Hillard, 314/982-7778, jim.woodcock@fleishman.com