The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football announced Wednesday that Soldier Field will host the final of this year’s Gold Cup on July 28.
It's an event that Soldier Field is already familiar with, as it hosted the CONCACAF championship match back in 2007.
“Chicago, of course, is a sporting icon. From the great Bears teams to, of course, the Chicago Bulls,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We hope that on July 28th that we will bring greatness, grace, emotions and passions to Soldier Field.”
His enthusiasm was shared by Sam Stark, the Executive Director of the Chicago Sports Commission, who spoke on behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the press conference.
“We are excited and thrilled to welcome CONCACAF and the nations who will play here in Chicago,” Stark said.
“Soccer is important to Chicago for many reasons, but two stand out,” he added. “It’s the world’s sport and we are truly a world-class city. And soccer, perhaps like no other sport in the world, brings people together in deep, meaningful ways. And Chicago embodies that unity as one of the most friendly and cohesive cities in the world.”
The 2013 Gold Cup with feature teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, El Salvador, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Honduras, and Martinique.
Prior to the final, these teams will compete in quarterfinals at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on July 20 and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium July 21. The Gold Cup semifinals will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on July 24.
Whichever two teams emerge on top, the Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, Michael Kelly, expects a big turnout for the final.
“Chicago fans love soccer,” Kelly said. “I’ll be so bold to say I predict a sell-out crowd for the championship this summer.”