The battle for the 2018 World Cup

It is still 10 years away, but the battle to become host of the 2018 World Cup is well under way.

Yahoo soccer guru Martin Rogers laid out a very thorough story on what should be a potentially great battle between the United States and England for the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati wowed English press with the particulars of what could be a USA bid for the 2018 World Cup. I’m sure it was impressive, having heard a similar presentation from Gulati before February’s match between the United States and Mexico in Houston. In short, the USA bid for the World Cup will be as strong as any other bid placed and any thoughts that England was going to run away with the bid were premature.

What do you think about the United States hosting the 2018 World Cup? Share your thoughts below.

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55 Responses to The battle for the 2018 World Cup

  1. Tim F. says:

    The US should put forth its strongest bid to host the 2018 World Cup. The US has proven it can host it successfully with one of the best run and highly attended World Cups in history. CONCACAF was not granted its rotation spot in hosting the World Cup competition and is “due” its turn. Lastly, the the next decade is a pivotal period for soccer to get a stronger foothold in North America which would benefit soccer around the world as a whole; FIFA should recognize and capitalize on this opportunity.

  2. Will says:

    Probably good for the game in North America, but it won’t have been that long since the last time they hosted.

  3. Haig says:

    Will, less time will have passed than since a UEFA member hosted (France 98, Germany 2006). I don’t see that as a compelling argument.

  4. Haig says:

    Sorry, I mean MORE time will have passed than since 2006.

  5. Bill says:

    Great! And all the attendees can get from game to game on our efficient, low-cost high-speed rail system! Oh, wait. Nevermind.

    Seriously, though, I would love for the World Cup to be held in the USA again. It’s just too bad that fans would practically be forced to fly from city to city. Then again, it could be a huge boon for the rental car industry, and the Chinatown buses on the east coast!

  6. MiamiAl says:

    Remember now, we got screwed the hardest since FIFA ended the rotation system. We were supposed to be up next weren’t we Ives?

    US would be much better than South Africa in 2010. With the recent murders of foreigners in South Africa, security will be an issue. So maybe it still is a possibility that we can host in their place.

  7. CACuzcatlan says:

    This is a waste of money. Our only chance is to come in as #2. There are so many other countries that have either never hosted, or hosted before us that should get preference. In addition, FIFA will probably take a closer look at Australia since that’s another country where soccer isn’t the most popular sport. I say we should save our energy and make our serious bid for 2022, not 2018.

  8. Moneyball says:

    The U.S. could have each individual World Cup game played in a different stadium with over 70,000 seats. Boom.

  9. J says:

    Full steam ahead, lets bring the World Cup back to the States! It was crazy they had the WC in Europe in 98 then in 06. Fifa then adopts a rotation policy, but stops that when its Concaf’s turn? We have the stadiums and infrastructure to do this tomorrow. Go for it!

  10. ag nigrin says:

    Tim F. said it best IMHO… The USA as host of 2018 is a no-brainer for FIFA…

  11. Addick says:

    I’d be curious to see how USSF would partner with MLS to help promote the league. Then again, I’m curious to see what MLS would look like in 2018.

  12. J says:

    Full steam ahead, lets bring the World Cup back to the States! It was crazy they had the WC in Europe in 98 then in 06. Fifa then adopts a rotation policy, but stops that when its Concaf’s turn? We have the stadiums and infrastructure to do this tomorrow. Go for it!

  13. I am all for it, but Ives, here is another thought. Say June 2009, FIFA looks at South Africa and decides to pull the plug on the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. the USA would be the logical choice to replace South Africa: large stadia and could hold the event on short notice.

  14. gaucho says:

    I have little doubt that if it’s a purely dollars and cents decision, that FIFA is best off going with the US. You’re going to sell more tickets here and continuing to improve the market for soccer in the US over the long term is in FIFA’s best interests.

    But England does hold a special place in the history of the game, it hasn’t hosted since 1966, Europe is still the primary market for soccer, and England isn’t going to be chopped liver on the money front.

    I hope Gulati likes visiting Burkina Faso, Laos, Uzbekistan, etc. One country, one vote! The politicking will be intense–and Jack Warner doesn’t come cheap!

  15. Blim says:

    I man, I really hope this happens. I was too young to appreciate it when the World Cup was held in the U.S. last time…

  16. Acme says:

    with neither South Africa nor Brazil even close to being ready to go the US will get one of those at the 11th hour

  17. Felix says:

    As much as I would LOVE to see the World Cup here again, since I was too young to attend any games in ’94; in all fairness and since FIFA has ended the rotation policy, it should go to England. I don’t think there should be too many cycles in between a European hosting. Plus, outside of the stupid hooligans, England would do a great job of hosting I believe. But if the US ends up winning the bid, I won’t be disappointed.

  18. Chase says:

    No one can compete with us on the stadium issue. Hell in places like Iowa City, IA and Lincoln, NE there are a recently renovated 70,000+ seat football stadiums. Obviously these places will not hosts games, but it just exhibits the point that our 3rd and 4th tier stadiums are huge and modern.

    Based on the Germans using 12 venues I’d see the US propose using:

    -NY-the new stadium

    -LA-the Rose Bowl or a new stadium they build to lure an NFL franchise

    -Dallas-new Cowboys stadium

    -Chicago-Soldier Field

    -DC-Fed Ex Field or the new stadium Snyder builds

    -Seattle-Qwest Field

    -Houston-Reliant Stadium

    -Miami-Dolphins Stadium

    -Detriot, Minneapolis, Columbus, or Cleveland (Lerner connection)-Ford Field, the new University of Minnesota football stadium, Browns Stadium, or Ohio Stadium

    -Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field

    -Charlotte, Nashville, Denver (depending on whether you want to give the Southeast or Mountain states a game)

    That’s without even mentioning: New Orleans, Kansas City, Atlanta, Baltimore, San Fransisco, or even the potential of having Toronto or Mexico City host games.

    Compare that with the English:

    Wembley, Old Trafford, the new Olympic Stadium, St. James, the New Anfield, Villa Park, the Stadium of Light, Elland Road, as well as the potential of games at Cardiff and Hampden Park. Some great stadiums, but nothing that compares to the US in terms of size and modernity (though the English would likely engage in a huge stadium building project ala Germany if they won the bid).

    This will be a very interesting battle, I wonder if we make a failed bid for 2018, whether we would come back and make another bid for 2022 (when Australia, Russia, China, Japan will make huge pushes).

  19. CACuzcatlan says:

    Chase, WTF are you talking about? Mexico City and Toronto could never host a game for a World Cup awarded to another country.

  20. J says:

    CACuzcatlan I think Chase is drawing from the joint Japan/Korea bid of ’02. So you can’t say can’t it just won’t happen. There are too many large venues in the US alone that there is no need to have it outside the U.S.

  21. Landycakes says:

    Hey guys I don’t mean to make a big issue out of this but South Africa will definitely be ready and able to host the 2010 WC. The staduims are actually in pretty good shape; most of the articles bemoaning the lack of progress were written right after 2006 and a lot has been done since then. FIFA has said over and over again that SA 2010 is their, first, second, and third plan. Also in response to the comment about voilence against immigrants in some townships, while it is unnecessary and obviously an issue for the government to deal with, it has resulted in the deaths of close to 50 people. Do you know how many people were killed in Oakland, CA last year? 127. I don’t even want to guess the number of people killed in the entire US. Would you expect the A’s, Oakland Raiders, or Golden State Warriors to leave the Oakland Coliseum because of the voilence? Probably not. Would you expect FIFA to not consider the US for hosting 2018 because we have a crazy high murder rate? Probably not. Like in Oakland, the violence in South Africa is clustered in very specific parts of the country, the parts where most tourists would not go anyways.

    I’m not trying to call anyone who posted previously out; I’m just a big SA guy and want the country to get a little bit more respect from the Western media. Go USA.

    My groin feels fine, by the way.

  22. Kyle says:

    I hate how Europe has such a stranglehold on the world sport. We sat quitely for our turn to make a bid during the rotation scheme, and as soonas it got to us, Europe started complaing that they have not had hosted a cup in (what would be) 12 years. It is like goin to a friends house, waiting patiently to play a new game, and as soon as everyone has had a shot, someone says “Let’s go do something else, I am bored.” Jack Warner needs to be kicked out as CONCACAF cheif for saying England should get the bid. England is basicly bribing him to turn his back on his own region (aka England goes and plays T&T, T&T gets lots of $$$ for it). England had their chance in 2006, and they will get it again in 2022. Let CONCACAF get their turn.

  23. Mario in SJ says:

    If they go by the numbers its a ‘no brainer’. What the FA will probably do is tell us all that tradition is more important than money. However, from what we see of FIFA it would seem that the money will in fact talk.

    By the way, gaucho, “–and Jack Warner doesn’t come cheap!” was great…LOL

  24. HomeyBoehme says:

    South Africa could test a nuclear device inside on of the stadiums for the World Cup, and Sepp Blatter will still insist on hosting it there. There is just no way the World Cup is not in South Africa in 2010. Blatter always gets his way.

  25. seven says:

    It’s ridiculous to talk about a rotation among regions. When does Oceania get its chance. If it really is CONCACAF’s turn again it should go to one of the region’s other countries.

  26. soccerroo says:

    If they do this on different countries getting a chance we will not get itbecause we have had the mens and womens recently. But if it all about money. we would be the perfect place because we can generate more money with the bigger stadiums. This is one time i hope it is all about the money.

  27. Nick says:

    Something else to think about regarding the World Cup stadiums in the US, not only do we have ample stadiums above 70,000 seats, but add in the fact that we have a growing number of soccer specific stadiums in major markets near these larger venues that would make perfect training grounds for national teams during the World Cup. With stadium sizes between 20-30k, these would be great places to see the champions of the world train that would make for a great intimate atmosphere for players and fans.

  28. Tony in Quakeland says:

    2018 would be great. I will be my son’s first World Cup as a Nat. (Of course, I’m projecting his grwowth as a player. He’s only 9 and may have to wait until 2022

  29. We should keep it simple and keep it based on access.

    Central US should be:

    Dallas

    Chicago – both have major air hubs

    Maybe, they all have hub airports and are good soccer markets:

    STL – only problem is indoor stadium

    CLE – good stadium and soccer culture

    DET – University of Michigan – not Ford Field

    West Coast:

    SEA

    SFO

    LAX

    East Coast:

    BOS

    NY

    PHL

    WAS/BAL

    No Orlando because it is too hot. (F#$k Disneyworld)

    We should not try to blanket the country and hit every market. All these cities have the stadia and infrastructure to support events. And, they would boast the numbers of 1994 too.

  30. DeLarge says:

    Do we not realize that our team will still probably struggle to make it out of the group stage in 2018?

    Maybe we should wait another four years for two or three world class players to develop, and host it in 2022.

    3rd place game, here we come!

  31. Henry says:

    Compared to how people will move around in England i really doubt we can compete. There is no high speed rail connecting certains regions where group stage games can be held. I.e East coast, South, South East, and West( We might get High Speed rail out here, if it passes a vote in November) Flying is a headache in this country. Mobility is going to be the reason we wont beat out the Redcoats.

  32. Pirate says:

    For what it’s worth, it was announced today that FIFA will announce the 2018 AND 2022 World Cups in 2011.

    Link: link to fifa.com

    “Currently interested are Mexico, United States, England, Spain, Netherlands-Belgium, Russia, Qatar, China, Japan and Australia.”

  33. Mayor Bloomberg says:

    How about Sunil worry more about the coaching and on field product than another US World Cup bid? I don’t care if he “wowed” the English press how about he “wow” the supporters with some good hires.

  34. Mayor Bloomberg says:

    Martin Rogers is also a fraud. He gets his information from message boards(his early “inside info” about Adu in Portugal for example). I wouldn’t trust him with a story if he saw it with his own eyes.

  35. Will says:

    Let’s not forget about Australia, who just put together an impressive bid and received high plaudits from Blatter. I think the US’s greatest competition will be Australia, not England.

  36. Brian says:

    Even though I’m a strong supporter of US soccer, one must admit England has enough, venue-wise, to warrant hosting. And a train system to hook them all up.

    But if the US does get the bid, I wonder if the smaller soccer specific stadia get any games? They’re great venues but only hold 25K or so.

    FIFA is all about the $, so I say the US gets it.

  37. Homey says:

    The one point in the Americans’ favor that nobody has mentioned is this: I think the fact that we’re not a soccer-crazy country is a positive. Basically, not only do we have huge stadiums, but we offer tons of tickets that are easy to get. Our people won’t just go snap up all the tickets. So it should be easy for England or Brazil or Germany to get 50,000+ fans into most of our stadiums. I see this as a big bonus.

  38. KD says:

    I have no doubt that the U.S. would put together another world-class event in 2018. Geography is not an impediment to a U.S. bid.

    You can have each of the 8 groups play in a sepecific geographic stadia grouping which will minimize the travel required in the group-play stage.

    Below is a compelling list of potential World Cup Stadia Groupings:

    EAST:

    Boston – Gillette Stadium (68,756)

    New York – New Meadowlands Stadium, 2010(82,500)

    Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field (68,532)

    DC – FedEx Field (91,704)

    MIDWEST:

    Chicago – Soldier Field (61,500)

    Indianapolis – Lucas Oil Stadium, 2008 (63,000, expandable to 70,000)

    Detroit – Ford Field (65,000)

    Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Stadium (73,200)

    Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium (65,535)

    SOUTHEAST:

    Charlotte – Bank of America Stadium (73,298)

    Nashville – LP Field (68,798)

    Tampa – Raymond James Stadium (65,857)

    Miami – Dolphin Stadium (76,500)

    CENTRAL/ROCKY MTN:

    Denver – Invesco Field (76,125)

    Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium (79,451)

    Dallas – New Cowboys Stadium, 2009 (80,000, expandale to 100,000)

    Houston – Reliant Staidum (71,500)

    WEST:

    Los Angeles – Proposed New NFL LA Stadium, 2012 (75,000) OR Rose Bowl (92,542)

    San Francisco – Proposed New NFL 49ers Stadium, 2012 (68,000)

    Phoenix – University of Phoenix Stadium (63,400)

    Seattle – Qwest Field (67,000)

  39. Adam M. says:

    Its not just that we have massive numbers of 70,000 plus stadia, or that we have many more already being built, or that FIFA will sell every single ticket for every single match even if only Americans were allowed to buy them. The US already holds the attendance record, even though more games were played in Germany, and 1994 is a shadow of the soccer interest in this country today. The real question FIFA has to ask is not whether to hold the World Cup in the US in 2018 (not to mention the Confederations Cup in 2017), but why it wouldn’t hold the World Cup here anytime it could.

  40. MiamiAl says:

    “Hey guys I don’t mean to make a big issue out of this but South Africa will definitely be ready and able to host the 2010 WC. The staduims are actually in pretty good shape; most of the articles bemoaning the lack of progress were written right after 2006 and a lot has been done since then. FIFA has said over and over again that SA 2010 is their, first, second, and third plan. Also in response to the comment about voilence against immigrants in some townships, while it is unnecessary and obviously an issue for the government to deal with, it has resulted in the deaths of close to 50 people. Do you know how many people were killed in Oakland, CA last year? 127. I don’t even want to guess the number of people killed in the entire US. Would you expect the A’s, Oakland Raiders, or Golden State Warriors to leave the Oakland Coliseum because of the voilence? Probably not. Would you expect FIFA to not consider the US for hosting 2018 because we have a crazy high murder rate? Probably not. Like in Oakland, the violence in South Africa is clustered in very specific parts of the country, the parts where most tourists would not go anyways.

    I’m not trying to call anyone who posted previously out; I’m just a big SA guy and want the country to get a little bit more respect from the Western media. Go USA.

    My groin feels fine, by the way.” Landycakes.

    Landycakes, I think your analysis is a bit off. You have compared the 50 murders in a two week period to that of a WHOLE year in Oakland California…Do the math if you extrapolate 50 murders in a two week period as you have done with the Oakland numbers for a year. That is really bad if it you look at it that way.

    Furthermore there murders were committed against foreigners (although I have heard that many of the victims were from Zimbabwe). So clearly there is a major problem. Before these recent murders, crime was a major issue, especially in Jo-burg. So I am sure the FIFA officials are watching this situation with a nervous eye.

    I would think that the World Cup could be a total failure if violence against the many tourists occur. Plus I also feel that transportation domestically within South Africa will be a problem.

  41. CACuzcatlan says:

    The murders would be the equivalent of Americans killing Mexicans or Central Americans looking to move into this country because of its better opportunities. It wasn’t tourists getting killed.

  42. Mike G says:

    If its all about the dollars then the U.S is the clear choice. Not only do we have a vast array of stadiums over 70k in capacity these stadiums are built to maximize revenue. When you start to talk about luxury suites, concessions, controlled parking and other revenue maximizing features the U.S comes out way ahead. This means that not only will more people be able to attend a U.S. based World Cup the revenue generated per fan would be far higher as well. When you compare it to England only Wembley and Old Trafford would be able to generate even close to the same revenue per game as a modern American Stadium.

  43. Brian says:

    The new uber-stadiums that the cardinals and cowboys built are begging for world cup games, and by 2018 we’ll probably have 2-3 more stadiums of that caliber. Not to mention that the US has 100 world-cup quality stadiums today.

    From an infastructure standpoint there is absolutely no competition.

    Still don’t think it’s going to happen.

  44. Landycakes says:

    MiamiAl- Your point is well taken; I thought about comparing the murder rate between SA and the US in a month-long period (the attacks in SA have been going on for more than a month, even though US papers only started reporting last week) but figured that wouldn’t be fair based on country size. Regardless of the choice of analogy, my overall point was that this recent spat of voilence, while troubling, would not affect the tourists going to 2010, as it is taking place in townships, where only some tourists go (and even then they go on guided tours), just as inner-city American voilence does not preclude spectators from attending sporting events. Crime is definitely an issue there, but it really isn’t as bad as you seem to think. It’s a matter of making smart choices and, like in any major US city, avoiding the wrong spots of town at night. Anyways, this is supposed to be about the USA’s hosting chances and I’m just stoked that we will most likely be hosting within the next 15 years.

  45. Mike says:

    @paul Lorinczi

    I love the Big House but it’s not up to par with FIFA standards. Sure they could cram 107,000+ in there but it’s not a World Cup quality facility.

    Sadly, Detroit would likely get passed over even though Ford Field is up to snuff by leaps and bounds. Part of the deal with the WC is showing off the cities. They’ll never send global tourists to Detroit. Plus the public transportation sucks.

  46. Geach says:

    So after a little Wiki search.

    according to wikipedia

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    The US has:

    4 stadiums over 100,000

    11 over 90,000

    22 over 80,000

    and

    46 over 70,000

    Now not all these were made with soccer in mind, but I have seen many world cup games on stadia with a track, which makes for terrible viewing, most of the stadia are much bettter.

  47. Geach says:

    English Stadia:

    over 100,000: zero

    over 90,000: one – wimbley

    over 80,000: one – wimbley

    over 70,000: two – wimbley and old trafford

    over 60,000: 3

    over 50,000: 4

    over 40,000: 10

  48. Geach says:

    more dumb stats:

    California, Florida and Texas each have more stadium capacity than England.

    Florida has 6 stadiums over 65,000.

    Anyway, enough of the stats, but the US could basically hold the world cup in any one region with no difficulty.

  49. KD says:

    Sadly, Detroit would likely get passed over even though Ford Field is up to snuff by leaps and bounds. Part of the deal with the WC is showing off the cities. They’ll never send global tourists to Detroit. Plus the public transportation sucks.

    -Detroit was one of the host cities during the World Cup in 94. The old Pontiac Silverdome hosted the first ever indoor world cup matches (4 group stage matches)

  50. jcmckenney says:

    nice to see the FA blow its wad so early in the game. keep up the smooth operating Sunil and bring the Cup to the US!

  51. Zindy says:

    The way I see it is that FIFA owes us one after bailing them out when China got SARS before the womens world cup. The stats on capacity are overwhelming in US favor. I still don’t think we will get it.

  52. mark says:

    The WC in 2018 would be another great boost for soccer in the US and MLS. By 20018 the league could be up to 20 teams, there could be a great partnership between the MLS and the USL (a three teir association), and the fan based could be double what it is today. This WC could put the soccer as a top sport in the US.

  53. Richard says:

    agree^^^^^^^^^^

  54. fieldsy says:

    i would love to see the u.s. host the world cup in 2018 and i think we have as good a chance as anyone else.

    for those of you in love with how good england’s railway system is, consider that all of the united kingdom is probably smaller than the state of texas. it’s not a very big country in terms of land size! if the entire world cup was held in one state, it might be possible to have a great railway system there too. i’ve also heard that the railway system is quite expensive ($200 one way to go from london to northern england), this is more expensive than taking jet blue in the u.s. or at least it used to be. if you consider a round trip ticket on a railway in england at $400, although efficient, it’s quite expensive.

  55. RedStateJim says:

    With FIFA it usually is about money. And the money they can make in the USA is much greater than any where else in the world. The US cities would be competing against each other to host the event, which would not take place in AUS or ENG because of the limited number of locations. In ENG there may be 15 cities vying for some piece of the pie, in AUS 8? In the US there could be 50 plus venues and cities capable of hosting the games, each wanting the international spotlight.