On the heel of a summer-long soccer love affair, the U.S. is ready to take center stage at the world’s biggest sporting event. The U.S. is one of nine candidates being considered to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.
The U.S. submitted a 1,250 page proposal to FIFA earlier this year, which included a list of 18 potential cities where games can be held.
One of the 18 potential cities is Miami. The inspection team visited the Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins on their recent visit.
Miami stands a great chance of being selected as a host city if the U.S. were to win the bid. South Florida had the highest TV ratings in the U.S. for the 2010 World Cup. Miami is fourth, behind Indianapolis. In registering their support for the 2018/2022 campaign.
Eugene Canal, athletic communications coordinator at NSU, believes the South Florida region, in particular, would benefit from hosting the World Cup.
“I think it would be great for the city of Miami,” said Canal. “I think the city has proven it can host big events like, that we have had multiple Super Bowls and the World Baseball Classic down here.”
A six-men FIFA inspection team visited the U.S. in mid-September to evaluate the nation’s chances of hosting the coveted tournament. The inspection team assesses each of the nine countries that are in the running based on criteria that remains very secretive.
“Miami is the perfect city for the World Cup because it is an international community and it would do wonders for soccer and the economy of the sport down here,” said Canal.
The other contenders to host the World Cup are England, Russia, Spain/Portugal, Belgium/Netherlands, Australia, Qatar, South Korea and Japan.
Kevin Rafael Preciado, junior business administration major, said, “I believe that soccer is one of those sports that you have to see in person, and to be given the opportunity to host the biggest sporting event in the world can only be a positive experience.”
“Playing on your home-field always gives a team a slight advan-tage,” said Preciado. “To look up in the stands and know that the majority of the people there are going to support you and cheer you on has to be a good feeling.”
If the U.S. wins the bid, it would be for the first time since 1994. The decision will be made in December.