Seattle Calls For FIFA World Cup Bid Boost

May 13, 2010

SEATTLE - As the United States prepares to submit its official bid to host future FIFA World Cup™ competitions, fans in Seattle and other potential American host cities coordinate a massive, nation-wide showing of support.

Seattleites and residents of other U.S. cities plan to spread the word and show support by tweeting simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow - the date that the U.S. bid is due at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. It is hoped that the combined tweets in Seattle and other cities included in the bid will make the U.S. bid a 'trending topic' within the Twitter platform and demonstrate America's enthusiasm for hosting the World Cup. Supporters are asked to tweet the following as close to 11 a.m. tomorrow as possible:

@goUSAbid gives FIFA their bid to host World Cup. Sign petition to support the USA! #goUSAbid PLS RT

FIFA will award the host nation for both 2018 and 2022 World Cups this December. FIFA and the local organizing committee will then make a final decision on host cities, typically selecting 18 host cities for the selected country about five years prior to the event (2013 or 2017).

'Tomorrow is a momentous day for Seattle and the U.S.,' said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. 'We are excited and proud to be listed as a potential host city in the official U.S. Bid Book that FIFA will receive. And we look forward to helping to promote Seattle as an excellent host city possibility throughout the rest of this year.'

'Being a host city for the World Cup would be an extraordinary opportunity for Seattle, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Bid Committee to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States,' said Ralph Morton, Executive Director for the Seattle Sports Commission. 'We are excited to be a part of the U.S. team and look forward to working with the seventeen other cities to put together a winning bid.'

Seattle and the region would achieve an estimated $400-600 million in economic impact from hosting the World Cup. In addition sports venues, fans attending the event would also spend money at local restaurants, shops, for transportation and tours, at cultural attractions and more. Some 40 Seattle area hotels have committed room blocks for the World Cup in both years under consideration - perhaps the largest hotel commitment ever made in the city.

'The passion and commitment of Seattle soccer fans is matched by Seattle's tourism community,' said Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau. 'Strong community support as well as first-class hotels, facilities and transportation make Seattle a natural choice to host this prestigious event. The World Cup would bring enormous economic impact to the region and international media coverage would strengthen the city's reputation as a premier sports and tourism destination.'

This week's promotion of the U.S. World Cup bid coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs through this Friday. Last Tuesday, hundreds gathered in Westlake Park for U.S. Travel Rally Day and participants included a cheer, banners and a crowd photo in support of the U.S. World Cup bid.

The U.S. Bid Committee invited 39 American cities to submit proposals last summer. The City of Seattle submitted a proposal in July, working closely with local government agencies, companies and organizations including the University of Washington, Seattle Sports Commission and Sounders FC. Both Qwest Field and Husky Stadium are under consideration to host the event. Seattle was chosen as one of 27 finalists, and a team of Seattle representatives presented to the U.S. Bid Committee in November.

The FIFA World Cup™ 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 Cup™ held in the U.S. reported approximately $4 billion in economic impact.