November 19, 2015Soccer
HOUSTON SELECTED AS ONE OF TEN METROPOLITAN AREAS FROM ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
HOUSTON (November 19, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Copa America Centenario Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced today that Houston’s NRG Stadium will be one of 10 U.S. venues which have been selected to host matches during the historic Copa America Centenario to be played from June 3-26, 2016 in the United States.
“Copa America Centenario will be the largest and most prestigious soccer tournament to be held in the United States since World Cup USA in 1994,” said Jamey Rootes, president of the Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. “We are proud that Houston and NRG Stadium were selected to be part of this historic event. It is a tribute to our world class city, fans and venue. We look forward to welcoming the soccer world to our community next June.”
“On behalf of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority we are excited to work with Lone Star Sports and Entertainment to host these high profile international soccer matches at NRG Stadium”, said Janis Burke, CEO of Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. We are a community that loves soccer and are thrilled to work with the U.S. Soccer Federation to make this event a huge success for all involved.”
The host metropolitan areas and respective stadiums are: Boston (Gillette Stadium), Chicago (Soldier Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl), New York (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium) and Seattle (CenturyLink Field). Similar to the FIFA World Cup, each venue will host matches on multiple days through the tournament. Most venues will host at least three games.
To be among the first to access tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event, fans can visit www.CA2016.com. Due to the expected high demand for this premium soccer tournament, fans are urged to register early to guarantee access to information as it becomes available. More ticketing information will be released in the coming weeks.
Chosen from among 24 candidates that originally submitted bids earlier this year, the stadiums passed rigorous standards – including minimum seating capacity of 60,000 and other world-class infrastructure requirements – in order to host matches of this high-profile tournament which is sure to draw multitudes of fans to venues across the country.
The 2016 Copa America Centenario is the historic centennial edition of Copa America – the South American championship – and will be staged outside of South America for the first time. The tournament will feature six teams from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and all 10 teams from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
“The ten host cities of Copa America Centenario 2016 will provide the perfect stage to unite the American continent in a unique celebration of the football history and talent in the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL regions,” said Alfredo Hawit, President of CONCACAF. “We are certain that the host country and the U.S. Soccer Federation, in their roles, will not only display the growing passion for the sport, but also contribute to expanding the legacy and magnitude of this tournament by providing a memorable experience for the whole footballing community.”
“Football is the most marvelous sport in the world. For us, it’s truly a source of pride to be able to bring to the United States this unparalleled event – the Copa America Centenario, the oldest national team tournament in the world,” said CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout. “This long-time, carefully planned dream would not have been possible without the fantastic efforts of the U.S. Soccer Federation, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. It’s the first time in the history of the event, since 1916, that the mythical Copa America will be played outside South America, with 16 teams from throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Without a doubt, this event will provide the luxury of stars on display whose talents shine in the most competitive leagues in the world. The party in the United States is a certainty.”
“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,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “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.”
From CONCACAF, host United States and Mexico are automatic qualifiers, while Costa Rica (2014 Central American Cup winner) and Jamaica (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup winner) qualified with regional championships last year.
The final two teams from CONCACAF will be determined in a double-header playoff set to be disputed Jan. 8, 2016, in Panama City. Trinidad & Tobago will face Haiti, and Panama squares off against Cuba with the winners qualifying for the Copa America Centenario.
The South American field for the tournament features Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Uruguay has been crowned champion of the Copa America a record 15 times, while Chile won its first title at this past year’s edition, which it hosted.
CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have partnered for the historic 2016 Copa America tournament, setting a new standard for inter-confederation cooperation in the Americas and worldwide. The Copa America Centenario Local Organizing Committee, formed by tournament host U.S. Soccer, is a separate entity responsible for certain logistical and organizational details of the competition.