Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tampa one of 18 cities included in U.S. World Cup bid

Tampa has been selected as one of the 18 cities that will make up the United States’ bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup when the list was announced on Tuesday afternoon in New York.

The bid committee, led by former Tampa Bay Rowdies standout Farrukh Quraishi, made its final presentation for the US Bid committed in December along with the other 26 cities vying for a place in the bid.

Nine cities were eliminated from the process today. Should the U.S. be awarded the competition for either year, another six cities would be eliminated, leaving 12 official host cities for the tournament.

Also included in the bid were Miami and Atlanta, with the biggest surprise being the omission of Chicago from the list of 18.

The bid, should it succeed, would likely be the largest in the World Cup’s history. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the stadiums available to the bid would allow for an average capacity of 78,000 seats, allowing for over 5 million tickets to be available for the tournament as a whole.

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