WASHINGTON, DC— After the U.S. World Cup team won the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere with a captivating performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined a bipartisan coalition of 26 U.S. Senators in an effort to support America’s bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Home to some the world’s best and largest sporting venues, an American World Cup could draw record-breaking audiences and hosting the largest stage of the world’s most popular game could generate millions for America’s economy. The United States Soccer Federation has already submitted a bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. FIFA is expected to make a decision in December of this year.
“With a population of 300 million people, we assure you that there will be no lack of fans clamoring to attend the matches. Attending the matches will be no difficult feat either, as the United States features significant transportation and tourism infrastructure that will enable visitors to attend games with great ease,” the senators write in their letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. “As visitors from across the globe come to the United States, we stand well prepared to answer all their needs. As always, we relish the opportunity to showcase our enthusiasm for this sport and hope that Americans will be given a chance to display their passion.”
More than 3.5 million fans turned out to witness the matches of the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., setting the record for the largest average attendance (68,991 fans) for a World Cup tournament to date.
Along with Senator Casey, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mark Udall (D-CO), George LeMieux (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Corker (R-TN), Scott Brown (R-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) have so far joined the effort to support America’s World Cup bid.
The Senators’ full letter to FIFA President Blatter:
Mr. Sepp Blatter
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
P.O. Box 8044
Dear President Blatter,
As we stand captivated by the exciting events taking place across South Africa, we write in strong support of the United States’ bids to host the FIFA World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. We can think of no better way to show America’s enthusiasm for the sport than to again play gracious host to the world’s athletes and spectators in the coming years. With memories of the successful World Cup in 1994, we hope to be given the opportunity to provide the coming generation with an event that is greater in scale and grander than any before.
As you know, the 1994 World Cup was held in cities spanning the American landscape from the Atlantic to the Pacific and many places in between. More than 3.5 million fans from every corner of the nation and globe came to watch the greatest sporting event in the world played in amongst the greatest venues in the world. The average number of attendees at these matches, about 68,000, was larger than any average World Cup audience there ever was or has been since. America’s first World Cup was a great success; we hope that a chance to repeat will be in the near future.
The current bids expand on this great potential by spreading the event out amongst 18 cities and 21 stadiums, all but two of which will be or currently are amongst the 100 largest stadiums in the world. Further, the size, diversity and number of cities spanning our country will allow the largest portion of Americans and visitors to have access to the sporting events. With a population of 300 million people, we assure you that there will be no lack of fans clamoring to attend the matches. Attending the matches will be no difficult feat either, as the United States features significant transportation and tourism infrastructure that will enable visitors to attend games with great ease.
Additionally, the United States maintains infrastructure that can afford the stresses of holding an internationally-attended sporting event. America has hosted several Olympic Games in its history as well as the CONCACAF Gold Cup every year since 1985. Even the sport itself is growing as American Major League Soccer is undergoing an expansion. As visitors from across the globe come to the United States, we stand well prepared to answer all their needs. As always, we relish the opportunity to showcase our enthusiasm for this sport and hope that Americans will be given a chance to display their passion.
Finally, the United States is a nation consisting largely of individuals from all over the globe. Our diverse population ensures that there are individuals from every country in the world eager to see their home country’s team play at their local stadium. The World Cup’s message is one of inclusion and international harmony; the United States wants to stand with the people of the world in the celebration of this great sport.
We hope that you will consider the United States’ bid with utmost seriousness and we hope to see you in the United States in either 2018 or 2022.