Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Philadelphia one of 18 US finalists for 2018 and 2022 World Cup

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 12, 2010) - The Philadelphia Union and City of Philadelphia officials celebrated the announcement today that Philadelphia was selected as one of 18 cities to be included in the U.S. Bid Committee's official submission to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018/2022.

With Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz serving as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Host City Bid Committee since last spring, Philadelphia Union, the City of Brotherly Love, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Eagles, and a growing number of civic organizations have partnered in an effort to bring the FIFA World Cup(tm) to Philadelphia in 2018 or 2022. Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter are serving as Honorary Co-chairs.

"It's fantastic to see soccer fans in the Philadelphia region unite in an effort to bring this extraordinary sporting event to our region," said Sakiewicz. "What we at Philadelphia Union have always believed is coming true; Philadelphia has now become a world-class, international soccer City. In a very short time the Philadelphia region has come a long way with Major League Soccer coming to town, major international games this past summer and now being chosen as a potential host city for the greatest sporting spectacle in the world. We'll continue to do everything in our power to bring the FIFA World Cup(tm) home to Philadelphia."

The USA Bid Committee announced the following finalist cities: Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Denver, Tampa, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.  The bid process began with 58 cities last spring and had seen two additional cuts prior to today's announcement.

Philadelphia will now be a part of the USA Bid Committee's final bid to FIFA, soccer's international governing body, this spring.  FIFA is expected to announce the host countries for both 2018 and 2022 in December 2010. Ultimately, 12-to-15 cities are expected to host games. Each host city can typically expect to host four-to-six games over the four weeks of the event.

"Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are very excited to have the opportunity to be considered for the World Cup," said Governor Rendell. "This is another fantastic chance for the country and the world to see what this region has to offer. I expect all of the partners in this effort to continue to work together to make this sports spectacular a reality."

"I am thrilled for the City of Philadelphia and surrounding region to be in this position to put ourselves on an even greater world stage," said Mayor Nutter. "In addition to being an amazing sporting event, the presence of the World Cup would be something that will benefit the citizens, businesses, and visitors of the Philadelphia region."

"The Game is in US" marketing campaign was initiated by the USA Bid Committee in recent months in order to generate nationwide support of its efforts to host the World Cup in the U.S. for the first time since 1994. Soccer fans from across the country have been asked to "sign" an online petition for prospective host cities to see which could generate the most signatures.  Philadelphia currently ranks fourth in "signatures," behind only Seattle, Atlanta and Houston.

Contested every four years, the FIFA World Cup(tm) is considered the largest sporting event in the world. Cumulative television viewership from the 2006 event in Germany was estimated at 26 billion. Hosting the event would be a huge boost for soccer in America, as well as the Philadelphia region, with an estimated economic impact of $300-500 million per host city. A USA Bid Committee Economic Impact Study can be found at http://www.gousabid.com/news.

Other countries submitting bids for 2018 and 2022 are: Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands, England, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Portugal. Korea Republic, Indonesia, and Qatar submitted bids just to host in 2022.

Sign the petition for Philadelphia at www.gousabid.com/city<http://www.gousabid.com/city> by selecting Philadelphia from the list of potential host cities.

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