In Chicago 2016's Wake, Here Comes The World Cup Bid
By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Oct 15, 2009 4:40PM
Now that we're past the Chicago 2016 failure, attention can now turn to the next major sporting event bid: the World Cup. While the U.S. men's national team has secured its spot in South Africa for next summer's World Cup (woo! CONCACAF Hexagonal Champs!) and Rio prepares to host the 2014 World Cup as a tune-up for the 2016 Olympics, bidding is underway for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. And, of course, the U.S. has thrown its hat in the ring for both. The U.S. joins a bevy of countries competing for 2018 and 2022 including England, Russia, and Australia.
Along with the bid comes a sub-competition among U.S. cities to host World Cup games. According to the U.S. bid site, 32 stadiums in 27 cities are competing for the chance to host games. Yes, Soldier Field is among them. And chances are Soldier Field will be among the stadiums chosen should the U.S. earn either World Cup. Not only did Chicago host preliminary round games the last time the U.S. had the World Cup in 1994, but it also hosted a Round 16 match and the Opening Ceremony. Add to that the high attendance at Soldier Field for international matches - such as this summer's World Cup qualifier against Honduras - and lots of local support for the Fire and it all adds up to the Magic 8 Ball saying "All signs point to 'Yes'" for Chicago if the U.S. is selected to host one of those World Cups. Of course, we've all learned on lesson that, in international sports, there is no "sure thing," so we're not holding our breath. But you have to like our chances.
FIFA will announce the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December 2010.