Thursday morning FIFA will decide the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Players, coaches and staff from the Sounders FC will be at FX McRory’s near Qwest Field for a viewing party hosted by the Seattle Sports Commission and the Sounders FC as the FIFA Executive Committee makes the announcement.
The United States of America is a finalist for the 2022 tournament, along with Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.
In Australia, they already have many outstanding venues and have shown a propensity toward grand-scale events, having recently hosted the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. They have also hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and the Rugby League World Cup in 2008 and are set to host the Cricket World Cup in 2015. Two of the highlight stadiums are the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Grounds and the 83,500-seat Stadium Australia, which housed the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2000 Olympics. It is estimated that the World Cup could generate as much as $35.5 billion in revenue for the Australian economy, four times that of the Olympics.
Japan co-hosted the tournament with South Korea in 2002 and is scheduled to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019. However, their efforts for the World Cup bid were hurt when the country failed to win the bid for the 2016 Olympics and funding for several proposed venues was reduced or pulled. Even still many of the venues from the 2002 World Cup are viable options for a second tournament in 2022.
Qatar is looking to become the first Arab nation to host the World Cup. One of the primary concerns of FIFA in a tournament held in Qatar would be the extreme temperatures. In the months of June and July, when the tournament takes place, temperatures are typically north of 100 degrees F, prompting bid chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to say, “We will have to take the help of technology to counter the harsh weather.” Climate-controlled stadiums are already in use in the country, using solar power to cool the venues.
South Korea is back after co-hosting with Japan in 2002. Their World Cup Stadium is already set to expand from a 66,807-seat capacity to 83,000 seats.
The US hosted the World Cup in 1994 and the Women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2003. 18 cities throughout the country are in the running to host games, including both Husky Stadium and Qwest Field in Seattle, along with other West Coast venues like the Rose Bowl and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, as well as Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Interestingly, sponsored stadium names are not used in the bid documents and will not be used during the tournament.
Watch live at 7 am as FIFA President Sepp Blatter makes the announcement live on Fox Soccer Channel.
To make sure that the World Cup comes to Seattle, visit www.goseattlebid.com.
To RSVP for the viewing party on Thursday, visit http://sndrs.com/e9gq.