Futbol in the Athens of the South?: Nashville's Bid for a World Cup Match
Nashville, Tenn., is one of 27 U.S. cities being considered to host one or more World Cup matches in either 2018 or 2022, the city's Metropolitan Sports Authority announced Thursday.
City leaders gave permission to continue with any campaigning associated with FIFA. While one in 27 doesn't sound like great odds, Nashville managed to survive the first round of 58 to fight another day.
Nashville would need to survive two rounds of cuts in order to become a finalist. That final decision will occur around December of 2010.
Nashville is no stranger to international friendlies and even hosted a World Cup qualifier match on April 1, 2009. That match drew 27,959 fans to set a record for the largest crowd to attend a soccer match in the state of Tennessee.
The qualifier between the U.S. men's national team and Trinidad and Tobago was played at LP field, which is where the future matches would be held. LP Field has a capacity of 68,798, though in the past fans have sat in the lower bowl area only. If the entire facility was opened, quite a few hooligans could take in the contest!
City leaders believe a successful bid would generate huge revenues and also put Nashville on the map as a viable sports town. I am biased as a resident, but I would definitely attend at least one match if this comes to fruition.
A link to the Metropolitan Sports Authority: http://www.nashville.gov/sports_authority
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