Ten American stadiums will host the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament in June, 2016, the United States Soccer Federation announced Thursday.
The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) and MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) highlight the list, and are expected to host the semifinals and finals. Joining them are Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.), Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, Mass.), Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.), NRG Stadium (Houston, Tex.), Citrus Bowl (Miami, Fla.), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Penn.), University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.) and CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Wash.). The tournament will be held from June 3-26, and most venues will host at least three games.
“These 10 cities and venues will provide a fantastic setting for fans across the world to attend Copa America Centenario and allow them to see the amazing passion for soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “The participating teams and fans will be treated to a first-class environment in each city and stadium, adding to the world-class talent that will be competing on the field.”
The tournament is a special edition of the Copa America – South America’s continental championship – celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first tournament, which was held in Argentina and won by Uruguay. While the tournament has often included teams from outside South America, this will be the first edition played outside the continent.
As always, all 10 South American teams will participate in the tournament, and they will joined by six teams from CONCACAF. The United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica have already clinched spots, while the final two berths will be decided in a doubleheader playoff in January. Trinidad & Tobago will play Haiti in one game, with Panama facing Cuba in the second.
“This long-time, carefully planned dream would not have been possible without the fantastic efforts of the U.S. Soccer Federation, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL,” said CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout. “It’s the first time in the history of the event, since 1916, that the mythical Copa America will be played outside South America, with 16 teams from throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
“Without a doubt, this event will provide the luxury of stars on display whose talents shine in the most competitive leagues in the world.”