NEW YORK (May 13, 2010) – On May 14, the USA World Cup Bid Committee will submit its final bid book to FIFA. To celebrate and support this monumental step in the efforts to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™, Major League Soccer is rallying all its fans to join the campaign starting Week 8 of the MLS regular season.
“MLS is deeply committed to assisting the USA World Cup Bid Committee’s efforts to bring the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ to the United States,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who is a member of the USA Bid Committee Board of Directors. “Our bid offers the opportunity to showcase the United States as a vibrant and rising soccer nation, but we need the support of every soccer fan in our country. We are asking all of our fans to sign the petition at goUSAbid.com and show the entire soccer world the level of America’s commitment.”
Beginning with tonight’s contest between Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake on ESPN2, MLS is raising awareness at all eight matches and through its electronic platforms, with measures including:
- A special one-time USA Bid flag will be displayed prominently on the field before kickoff.
- Children on the field during pregame ceremonies will wear “The Game Is In US” T-Shirts.
- For the first time, the double field board at the centerline will not feature “Major League Soccer,” as this week it will display USA Bid Committee branding throughout all of the games.
- MLSsoccer.com will feature a front-page sponsorship and unmatched editorial coverage of the bid and an exclusive video montage of players throughout the League pledging their personal support.
- MLS is utilizing its social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to encourage fans to sign the petition to bring the World Cup back to the United States.
The Bid Book is a five-volume, 1,250 page document. The nine competing nations will present alphabetically, leaving the United States with the final slot in the ceremony to present the U.S. Bid Book to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at 10:15 a.m. (ET) Friday morning in Zurich, Switzerland. Among those who will join U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati for the handover ceremony are David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee, John Kristick, Managing Director, and U.S. Men’s National Team Captain Carlos Bocanegra.
In addition to Garber, the USA Bid Committee Board of Directors also includes Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo owner Philip Anschutz, New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft, Seattle Sounders FC owner Drew Carey, Houston Dynamo owner Oscar De La Hoya, and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States was arguably the most successful tournament in FIFA history. Crowds averaged 69,000 fans per game and broke the FIFA World Cup total attendance record with 3.6 million attendees, a record that still stands today.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup also established the legacy of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Established to manage surplus funds, the Foundation has provided over $51 million in grants, financial support, and loans to help fund programs and projects across the country. These programs look to improve the health and well-being of children in economically disadvantaged areas by using soccer as a vehicle for social change.
FIFA will announce the host countries for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2, 2010.