First, the NBA All-Star Game. Then the Super Bowl. Could the Federation Internationale de Football Association's World Cup in 2018 or 2022 be next? It's not so far fetched now that Dallas has made the final cut as the USA Bid Committee has narrowed a list of 27 cities down to 18.
"We are clearly excited and honored to help represent the United States in its FIFA World Cup bid," Mayor Tom Leppert said in a press release. "It's a win-win. It is great for us in terms of exposure and economic impact, and Dallas is a tremendous destination for World Cup soccer teams and fans."
Leppert is asking the committee to select Fair Park as the site for the event's International Broadcast Center, and both the Cotton Bowl and Cowboys Stadium "appear" to have made the committee's cuts as well. And, of course, as we noted in November, "If any games are played at Cowboys Stadium, Dallas will still be considered the Host City."
FIFA's final decision will be made on December 2, 2010. Till then, happy petition signing (And you thought Leppert hated petition drives). The mayor's full release is after the jump.
DALLAS CHOSEN FOR US WORLD CUP BID
Mayor Leppert Cheers Decision, Hopes International Broadcast Center Will Go To Dallas Again
Mayor Tom Leppert today cheered the US Bid Committee's decision to include Dallas as a venue in its bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.
"We are clearly excited and honored to help represent the United States in its FIFA World Cup bid," said Mayor Leppert. "It's a win-win. It is great for us in terms of exposure and economic impact, and Dallas is a tremendous destination for World Cup soccer teams and fans."
Both the Cotton Bowl and Cowboys Stadium were under the umbrella of the Dallas bid, and both stadiums appear to have made the Committee's cut.
"With two world class stadiums in North Texas, Dallas is best suited to accommodate the large number of games, teams, media and fans that the World Cup brings," said Mayor Leppert. "Dallas has proven it can host world class events, and we are ready to do it again."
Mayor Leppert is also asking the Committee to again select Fair Park as the site for the event's International Broadcast Center.
Dallas hosted six World Cup soccer matches in 1994 at the historic Cotton Bowl at Fair Park. Since that time the stadium has been renovated and expanded to accommodate more than 90,000 people and recently hosted a pair of high profile soccer matches during the State Fair of Texas. Cowboys Stadium opened its doors to rave reviews last year and has since hosted three major soccer events. Next month it will host the NBA All Star Game and next year will host Super Bowl XLV.
Fair Park hosted the International Broadcast Center in 1994, and much of the infrastructure is still in place. The proximity to the I-30 freeway and new DART light rail stations provide easy access to the world press expected to cover the FIFA games.
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Mayor Leppert extended thanks to Dallas oil executive Jim Graham who chaired the Dallas Host City Bid Committee. Mr. Graham said Dallas and Arlington city staff, Fair Park staff, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Dallas Cowboys all worked together on Dallas' successful effort to be included in the bid. Mayor Leppert asked Mr. Graham to chair the effort because of his extensive work on Dallas' 1994 World Cup event.
"Dallas was considered the model host city in terms of hospitality and efficiency during the 1994 games," said Mr. Graham. "The economic impact on the area then was in excess of $300 million. It promises to be much more this time around."
The US Bid now will be presented to FIFA, which must decide which countries' teams will be awarded the games in 2018 and 2022. FIFA's final decision will be made on December 2, 2010.
Mayor Leppert is encouraging supporters of the US Bid to stand behind our city and our national bid by signing the petition at www.gousabid.com.