Like I said Friday, the the FIFA World Cup Soccer Site Selection Committee's coming to town -- tonight, if Hermine doesn't mind. Last night, Mayor Tom Leppert's chief of staff, Chris Heinbaugh, sent a few more details concerning the visit in advance of the December 2 decision -- as in, when the committee pulls into the Dallas Convention Center way early tomorrow morning it will be greeted not only by the mayor, but also Dwaine Caraway, Pauline Medrano, DCBV officials and local business-types ... not to mention James Madison High School's cheerleaders and its marching band, The Fresh Ones.
Of course, the city's pitching the Cotton Bowl and Cowboys Stadium as part of its bid, and hopes the Dallas Convention Center will be considered as the FIFA Congress's home base. "The city also wants the committee to consider Fair Park as the site for a World Cup Village and the International Broadcast Center," says Heinbaugh's note; in '94, you no doubt recall, Fair Park served as the broadcast center.
The committee kicked off its trip to the States yesterday in Manhattan and D.C., and The New York Times's recap gives us some clue as to where the United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. bid committee's head is at, courtesy bid committee chair Sunil Gulati:
The FIFA team was visiting five cities in its three-and-a-half-day tour to inspect possible sites for the opening and final matches and the international broadcasting center. Gulati said the American bid committee wanted FIFA to see New Meadowlands Stadium and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., as well as to visit Washington for a breakfast at the White House on Wednesday. From there, Gulati said, Miami and Houston were "filled in" in part because they best fit the FIFA team's tight schedule.