Husky Stadium Selected As Potential World Cup Host

Aug. 20, 2009

SEATTLE - The USA Bid Committee announced today that Seattle is one of 27 cities advancing to the next round of consideration as a Host City for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

'All of us have seen the excitement and energy the Sounders FC has brought to Seattle in its first year. Being a Host City for the World Cup would be an extraordinary opportunity for our residents, businesses and our enthusiastic Seattle soccer fans,' said Mayor Greg Nickels.

The USA Bid Committee is seeking to be a World Cup Host Nation and invited 39 cities to submit proposals. The City of Seattle submitted a proposal in July, working closely with local government agencies, companies and organizations including First and Goal, the University of Washington and the Seattle Sports Commission.

'As a strong, viable partner with the city of Seattle, the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC, we are thrilled that Seattle is being considered as a site for the world's largest single-sport athletic event - the FIFA World CupTM,' said University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward. 'We look forward to showing the bid committee that Husky Stadium and Qwest Field are uniquely situated to showcase the Northwest community's unparalleled enthusiasm for international soccer.'

'Seattle is eager to be a part of the United States' bid for the FIFA World CupTM in 2018 or 2022. It would have a huge economic impact on our community and bring priceless media exposure promoting our region as a premier destination for sports, tourism and business,' said Ralph Morton, Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission.

The Mayor will send a resolution to Council to set up a process for examining the fiscal impact of hosting such an event. Seattle's proposal identified both Qwest Field (67,000 seats) and Husky Stadium (72,500 seats) as potential venues, as well as four training sites: University of Washington soccer stadium, Seattle University soccer stadium, Starfire Sports Complex, Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seattle Seahawks' training facility).

'We believe Seattle has the infrastructure, facilities and community support outlined by the bid committee to host this prestigious event,' said Vulcan Sports and Entertainment CEO Tod Leiweke. 'More importantly, the passion and commitment demonstrated at each match by our soccer fans has taken the nation by storm.'

In its first Major League Soccer season, Seattle Sounders FC has broken records for season attendance and merchandise sales. Seattle's bid also highlights the city's athletic facilities, the region's new light rail system and a supportive corporate community, along with vibrant hospitality and tourism industries. The proposal notes the city's experience hosting many national and international events such as Major League Baseball All-Star games, the NCAA Men's Final Four Competitions and the 1990 Goodwill Games.

Seattle will now submit more detailed information and in May 2010, the USA Bid Committee is expected to determine 18 final cities for consideration as part of its bid submission to the FIFA World CupTM. In December 2010, FIFA will award the Host Nation for both 2018 and 2022. FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee will then make a final decision, typically selecting several Host Cities for the selected country about 5 years prior to the event (2013 or 2017).

The FIFA World CupTM championship is awarded every four years. The tournament consists of 64 matches, with 32 teams competing for the title over a period of about a month in June and July. The games are played in 10 to 14 venues, with most venues used for a two to three week period. The World Cup is one of the most widely-viewed sporting events in the world and the 1994 FIFA World CupTM held in the U.S. reported approximately $4 billion in economic impact.

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