The future of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is in serious jeopardy.
After admitting over 1,000 migrant workers have died during construction phase combined with increased global awareness of the country’s slave-like employment system, and now reports of bribery during the bidding process, host nation Qatar could be done.
Furthermore, there are plans to move the tournament away from the 110-plus degree summer heat and into the winter months, conflicting with professional league schedules worldwide.
Rumors, although adamantly denied, are abundant that FIFA contacted United States soccer governing bodies in the recent weeks to explore the possibility of moving the 2022 World Cup to American soil.
If Qatar were to be stripped of the prestigious honor, what U.S. locations would serve as host cities?
Over 50 cities showed interest in hosting during the bidding process in 2008-09, but only 18 were selected for the official bid. Those 18 cities included the following 24 stadiums:
|Baltimore||M&T Bank Stadium|
|Denver||Sports Authority Field at Mile High|
|Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Los Angeles||The Rose Bowl|
|Los Angeles||Memorial Coliseum|
|Miami||Sun Life Stadium|
|New York City||MetLife Stadium|
|Philadelphia||Lincoln Financial Field|
|Phoenix||University of Phoenix Stadium|
|San Diego||Qualcomm Stadium|
|Tampa||Raymond James Stadium|
|Washington, D.C.||FedEx Field|
Yes, 24 stadiums is a lot, considering only 12 stadiums were used in Germany (2006), 10 in South Africa (2010) and 12 this summer in Brazil. The above list would be trimmed and it is extremely unlikely that one or multiple new stadiums would be built for a United States World Cup, given the availability of numerous 40,000-plus seat venues and the time crunch of building a new one.
In addition to those 24 stadiums, two prospective stadiums have been completed since the beginning of the bid process in 2009 and two more will be completed well in advance of the 2022 World Cup. Because of these new venues consider the following as new additions, changes or updates:
|Atlanta||New Falcons Stadium|
|Minneapolis||TCF Bank Stadium|
|Minneapolis||New Vikings Stadium (US Bank Stadium)|
|Santa Clara||Levi’s Stadium|
The United States also hosted the tournament in 1994 and is reportedly preparing for bids on the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, both of which could hinge of a possible move from Qatar in eight years.
Photo Courtesy: EPA