Atlanta's Georgia Dome, a venue considered by some to be too old and outdated to house the Atlanta Falcons has been chosen as one of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup sites, it was announced Wednesday. The Gold Cup is the biennial nations championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, and is the confederation's premier event. The tournament will take place between July 7-28 at 13 venues throughout the United States.
This is the first time the Georgia Dome has been selected as a venue for a major soccer tournament although it has played host to some club and international soccer friendlies including a game in 2009 between Mexico and Venezuela that had more than 50,000 spectators. Natural turf will be installed in the Dome for any games played just as it was for the friendlies played there.
Jeffrey Webb, CONCACAF's President is excited about the tournament and its host cities. "We would like to thank all cities and venues in the United States for their interest in our Confederation's Gold Cup and congratulate the ones that have been selected to host its 2013 edition."
He added, "CONCACAF is looking forward to a successful tournament, working in close partnership with both stadium and local authorities, while expanding the reach of our competition to a larger number of fans in more locations throughout the United States."
The three biggest teams in the region, the USA, Canada and current champions Mexico will be joined by Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique and Trinidad & Tobago. The last remaining spot will be determined Friday when Panama and Guatemala play.
It is not yet known which games will take place at the Dome. The full schedule will be released sometime later in February. The last time the cup was contested, in 2011, the USA lost in the final to Mexico by a score of 4-2 having jumped out to a 2-0 lead after only 25 minutes.
Host City & Venue list
(In alphabetical order by host city)
HOST CITY - VENUE (Venue Location)
• Atlanta - Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
• Baltimore - M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
• Chicago - Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
• Dallas - Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
• Denver - Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)
• Hartford - Rentschler Field (East Hartford, CT)
• Houston - BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
• Los Angeles - Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
• Miami - Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
• New York- Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
• Portland - JELD-WEN Field (Portland, OR)
• Salt Lake City - Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, UT)
• Seattle - CenturyLink Field (Seattle, WA)