The USA Bid Committee announced today that New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has joined its Board of Directors in its effort to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022. Mayor Bloomberg taped a short video segment promoting the bid on behalf of New York City. To view it, visit:

As mayor of New York City, the nation’s most populous and diverse city and the home of Major League Soccer, Bloomberg will play an integral role as a member of the Board of Directors as the USA Bid Committee prepares its application and continues its campaign to bring the world’s largest sporting event to the United States.

“New York is the most diverse city on Earth, with football fans from every country, and all of us are firmly behind America’s proposal to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The United States – and New York City in particular – is an ideal place to host an extraordinary international event that welcomes the world, and to showcase the planet’s most popular sport. The United States put on a fantastic tournament in 1994, and we in New York City are ready to host an even more memorable World Cup in 2018 or 2022.”

The New York Metropolitan area has a storied tradition with international soccer, highlighted by several matches from the 1994 FIFA World Cup™ being played across the river from New York City at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. With the anticipated Fall 2009 completion of the New Meadowlands Stadium next to the historic venue it’s replacing, New York City and Mayor Bloomberg have applied for the venue to be included in the bid the USA will submit to FIFA so the city can once again host the world’s soccer fans for the world’s biggest sporting event.

“Mayor Bloomberg’s accomplishments as a businessman, philanthropist and administrator are well respected in this country and worldwide, ” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “His vast experience will play an instrumental role at many levels of our bid, including the continued development of the legacy and sustainability components of our bid.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg put his support behind the inaugural CopaNYC, an amateur soccer tournament created as a partnership between the City, the United Nations and the diverse communities that make up New York City. This unique social experience consisted of teams made up of the diverse cultural heritages found throughout the New York area, competing on urban soccer fields in a World Cup format tournament. The goals of the event were to provide a forum for international dialogue, educate people on global and local issues, mobilize communities, raise cultural awareness and celebrate diversity. Albania defeated Ireland to earn the inaugural Mayor’s Cup in August 2009. Mayor Bloomberg later recognized the event’s mission of making camaraderie through soccer an annual occurrence in New York City by welcoming both teams to the steps of City Hall for a celebratory photo op.

New York City and the tri-state area will be important to the U.S. bid, just as it was when the FIFA World Cup™ was played in the United States in 1994. Giants Stadium was one of nine venues used in 1994, which then featured a 24-team and 52-match format compared to today’s field of 32 nations competing in 64 matches. Despite the smaller field and schedule of matches in 1994, the United States set an overall attendance mark of 3,587,538, a record that broke the previous tournament mark by more than one million fans and still stands today.

The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

Mayor Bloomberg joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, MLS founding investor Philip Anschutz, Univision CEO Joe Uva, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will add additional national leaders from the sectors of sports, entertainment, government and business.

The USA Bid Committee’s efforts has earned the full support of President Barack Obama, who back in April reached out to FIFA – the world’s governing body of soccer – to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In that letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.

On Monday, July 27, Obama and Blatter met at the White House to discuss the U.S. bid and other soccer-related topics. The meeting was marked by Blatter confirming his invitation for President Obama to be his guest at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. President Obama has expressed his interest in attending the event pending availability on his schedule.

The United States Men’s National team recently secured its place among the field of 32 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa by capturing the top spot in the final round standings in CONCACAF. The Americans will be competing in their sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup™, making them one of just seven nations that have participated in all six World Cups since 1990, including secured berths to South Africa in 2010. The U.S. Men’s National Team will have its group and match orders revealed at the FIFA World Cup Draw on December 4 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The USA Bid Committee recently released a study conducted by an independent consulting firm that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings of the study indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value. The analysis also estimates that between 65,000 and 100,000 total new jobs would be created in the various host cities during the preparation and operation of the tournament in the year of the event. The study was undertaken by the Economics practice at AECOM, formerly Economics Research Associates (ERA), the world’s leading international sports and entertainment attraction consulting firm.

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