United States falls short in bid to bring FIFA World Cup™ back to U.S.
(December 2, 2010) – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced Thursday that Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in a decision that ends the United States bid to bring the World Cup back to the U.S. and Kansas City’s chances of hosting the world’s most widely viewed international sporting event.
“Although the US Bid fell short, locally we achieved great success,” Kansas City/USA Host City Bid Committee Director David Ficklin said. “Over these past 18 months, our bid highlighted our city, our region, our facilities and our amenities first to the country, and then to the entire world. Looking forward, we’ll keep building on our strengths. We’ll continue to promote Kansas City as the finest soccer city in the country. And we’ll continue to bring big teams and major events to showcase our fantastic city and facilities.”
In January, the USA Bid Committee selected Kansas City as one of 18 potential host cities in the United States bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™. Kansas City was included in the official United States Bid Book submitted to FIFA in May and following the USA Bid Committee’s October decision to focus solely on the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, Kansas City was among the potential host cities touted in the USA Bid Committee’s official presentation to FIFA on Wednesday.
The 22-member FIFA Executive Committee then voted on Thursday, choosing Qatar over the United States and three other competitor countries (South Korea, Japan, Australia) for the rights to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. The Committee also selected Russia to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ over England, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands, marking the first time FIFA had announced two World Cup hosts at the same time.
“Kansas City has proved time and time again that it is a passionate soccer city and that was evident in this bid process,” Sporting President Robb Heineman said. “Of course we are disappointed by the decision, but our city should take great pride in being a such a strong part of the United States bid seen around the world. The sport will continue to grow in Kansas City and throughout the country.”
Hundreds of Kansas City soccer supporters gathered at the 810 Zone on the Plaza on Thursday for a watch party co-sponsored by Sporting Kansas City, the Kansas City World Cup Bid Committee and the Kansas City Sports Commission. The announcement revealing the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup™ hosts was made live from Zurich, Switzerland and was broadcast across the country on Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Deportes, ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN Deportes, CNN International and Univision.
The Kansas City / USA Host City Bid Committee was chaired by Cerner CEO and Sporting Kansas City owner Neal Patterson and featured members from a wide range of Kansas City metropolitan area public and private entities from both sides of the state line, including: Sporting Kansas City, the Kansas City Chiefs; the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation; the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association; the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas; the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA); and POPULOUS, formerly HOK Sport Venue Event.
The FIFA World Cup™, hosted by South Africa this summer and granted to Brazil for 2014, is a month-long tournament held every four years and is considered the most widely viewed sporting event in the world with a global cumulative television audience of over 26 billion.