LOS makes World Cup cut

June 16, 2009
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worldcupLucas Oil Stadium has made the short list for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. Well, the one-year-old retractable-roof stadium actually made a shortened list.

The list this week of possible sites to be included in the U.S. bid was trimmed from the original 58 candidates released in April to 45 sites in 37 cities. The USA Bid Committee Monday issued requests for proposals to officials representing the 45 remaining sites. The Indiana Sports Corp. is heading up the local effort. There's bound to be stiff competition from other countries for this vaunted event.

The RFPs request information from city officials covering an array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, promotion and more. The RFPs are an important step in the United States’ application that is due to FIFA next May. FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

“We want each city under consideration to have the best opportunity to present their case and, to that end, we are recommending that officials representing these cities, metro markets and stadiums form host city committees in the near future to help move our national bid forward at the local level,” said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. 

The 1994 World Cup hosted by the U.S. brought in a record 3.6 million fans from around the globe. The average per-game crowd was 69,000. The economic impact for the entire tournament is in the hundreds of millions. But there aren’t many studies on what each round would net the host city.

FIFA’s current criteria requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it last played host to the FIFA World Cup in 1994. 

Indianapolis—if it is fortunate enough to be chosen—would most likely host a preliminary pool play round, said Indiana Sports Corp. spokesman John Dedman. Preliminary pool play involves four teams playing over a week-long period. “Since it’s played over a longer period, visitor spending at hotels and restaurants can be significant,” Dedman said.

Most sports economists agree that even a preliminary round of the World Cup could carry an economic impact near an NCAA men’s Final Four. Studies show that direct visitor spending for a men’s Final Four is between $45 million and $50 million.
  • I'm a huge soccer fan and this would be great for the city. The city's set up is ideal for a tournament like this.

    Just imagine F1 type crowds + Super Bowl type atmosphere at the stadium and throughout downtown and the convention center.
  • Indianapolis needs to aim higher and be much more confident.

    Our facilities are much better than all the U.S. World Cup venues used in 1994 and compare very favorably against most of the other U.S. stadium considering its retractable roof with 64,000++ seating capacity. (Greater capacity than two stadiums used in 1994)

    That doesn't even include our experience hosting Super Bowl, Indy 500, F1, Final Fours, Pan Am Games etc..

    Nine U.S. Venues Used for 1994 FIFA World Cup

  • i think the citys hosting should be

    New York

    those are probally the nicest venues
  • I am not a soccer fan, but I think this will be huge for us.

    Indy should have a very good chance to host. We knock each of the RFP subjects out of the park. My guess is the finals will be in Dallas due to sheer size of the facility.
  • If we do get it will they open up the roof? Soccer is an outdoor sport and should never be played under a roof.
  • I wondered the same thing about the roof-will it be open or closed? Remember the electronics in the facility are not water proof and there's no drains or other drainage systems in the floor of the facility to deal with rain water run-off. So, if there's even a slight chance of rain, the roof would be closed. My guess is that has the potential to hurt the bid a bit.
  • This is exciting news, but the list has hardly been widdled down to just a few. When LOS was in the planning stages, I posted that the City should shoot for the World Cup as it would be a huge feather in our international cap.
  • I would believe unless it is raining, the roof will be open. Don't forget, the roof can be closed in 11 minutes. I also do not think there will be an issue with having a closed roof, otherwise that will throw out some of the best facilities in the nation including Glendale, Houston, Dallas and Indy. As far as I know, none of those are set up to handle rain.
  • I hope the City goes all out to host a game in this event. This would be a major coup for Indianapolis, if we could host a WC game (To be fair, first the US needs to be named the host of the World Cup which should happen but you never know). This is the premier sporting event on the planet and would pump millions dollars into our economy.
  • Premier and Planet - unnecessary words for a goofy sport. Nonetheless, there are many fans that enjoy it and it would be great to see them here. I don't agree that it is the world's premiere sport, but, hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Good luck to this effort!
  • Again, not a soccer fan, but is is the premier sport on the planet. Literally the only country not consumed by it is the US. I have spent time overseas and have several foreign friends who live in the US. It is a religion in their countries. It is not a team, but civic and national pride on the line. Indy loses a championship, it sucks, but life goes on. US loses a gold medal in bball, again, unfortunate, but most people survive. In Europe, South America or Asia, your team loses, it is all over. Depression, sadness everything. It is truly fascinating to watch.

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