Atlanta is one of 24 U.S. cities interested in hosting a portion of the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament.
The Copa America, which will be held for the first time outside South America, is the championship for the continent. Ten teams from South America are expected to compete. Additionally, U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica and two more teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean will compete. The tournament will be held in June.
Cities must submit proposals to U.S. Soccer by March 16.
“World-class sports events help the city’s economy by drawing visitors and providing a global stage to showcase metro Atlanta, and the Copa America Centenario is certainly that type of event,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council. “We look forward to working with our partners in the region to explore the opportunity to host this event.”
The other cities are: Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Nashville, Dallas, Houston and Seattle.
The tournament is expected to be hosted at between 8-13 sites. The winning cities will be announced in May.
Atlanta would host the game in the Georgia Dome. The new stadium that will replace the Dome isn’t scheduled to open until 2017. It will host Atlanta’s MLS team and the Falcons, among other events.
Should Atlanta win, it would be another sign of its growing interest in soccer.
Atlanta is among the cities that will host a portion of the Gold Cup later this year. The Gold Cup is the championship tournament for the countries that comprise North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Atlanta hosted a pair of games for the Gold Cup in 2013, as well as hosting a friendly for the U.S. women’s national team in February last year.
Doug Roberson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution