The MIAMI Host City Bid Committee, led by its Chairman, Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, and Executive Director, Mike Sophia, announced today that the USA Bid Committee has formally submitted the United States bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ at a ceremony at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Included in the five volume, 1,250-page document is a section on Miami, which is one of 18 cities that have been presented as a proposed site in the bid.
"This is a historic day for the sport of soccer in this country, and it is a historic day for our community as we take another important step towards hosting the FIFA World Cup™ in Miami," said MIAMI Host City Bid Committee Chairman and County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz. "We are proud of the effort of our committee, the USA Bid Committee, our elected officials and everyone in this community that have worked so hard to support the bid, it is a major accomplishment."
Each city section features an overview of the city, demographics, climate, stadium information, training sites, soccer history and sustainability. Sun Life Stadium, the proposed site for World Cup games in Miami, was listed in the bid book with a capacity of 80,240, which means Miami meets the minimum requirement of 80,000 to potentially host the Opening Match or Final Match. MIAMI Host City Bid Committee officials and Sun Life Stadium worked closely with the USA Bid Committee to develop a temporary seating plan that could position Miami as a potential option for the opening or finals.
Additionally, the Miami Beach Convention Center was presented as a potential site for the FIFA World Cup™ Final Draw, which would be held in December, the year prior to the World Cup.
"Our committee has been committed to providing all of the local resources possible to present the best possible bid on behalf of the United States," said Mike Sophia, Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission and the MIAMI Host City Bid Committee. "We worked very hard with the stadium partners and the USA Bid Committee to get a temporary seating plan that gives the U.S. bid an additional stadium to meet the 80,000 requirement, and we certainly feel like Miami would be a fantastic place to be for the Draw in December."
The United States is among nine candidates bidding to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™, along with Australia, England, Japan, Netherlands-Belgium, Portugal-Spain, Qatar, Russia, and South Korea. FIFA will select the host countries for 2018 and 2022 on December 2, 2010.
Miami is among 18 cities included in the U.S. bid. It is expected that 12-15 of those cities would ultimately be selected to host a portion of the 64 matches to be played as a part of the FIFA World Cup™. If the United States wins the bid, it is expected that the final list of host cities would be determined approximately five years prior to the event.
An important element of the effort locally continues to be an online petition drive to show support for the United States bid to host the FIFA World Cup™. The MIAMI Host City Bid Committee continues to encourage everyone in South Florida to visit www.gousabid.com/Miami to sign the online petition supporting the bid to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States and Miami.
"The petition drive is huge," said Commissioner Diaz, "we want to be the first community to exceed the 50,000 mark, which has been our goal from the start."