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University of Phoenix Stadium on list to host World Cup games

Aug 15, 2017, 11:34 AM | Updated: 2:35 pm
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PHOENIX — University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale has hosted its fair share of soccer games, but its biggest billing ever in the sport could be on its way: a World Cup match.

The stadium was one of 49 mentioned in a list of possible venues for the 2026 World Cup that will be hosted jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

To be considered as a venue, University of Phoenix Stadium will have to inform the World Cup bid team it is interested by Sept. 5.

To be named a host venue, the stadium will have to show it can seat at least 40,000 people — University of Phoenix seats 63,400. It will not be eligible to host the opening match or final, which requires a capacity of at least 80,000.

Glendale will have to provide information about its infrastructure, past experience hosting events and accommodations, among other topics.

The city will also have to show it has top-level training areas.

An updated short list of venues was expected to be released next month.

Though it is the home of the Arizona Cardinals, the stadium has hosted a slew of soccer games over the years, including a doubleheader quarterfinal for the Gold Cup in July.

The facility was home to three Copa America matches, including the third-place game between the U.S. and Colombia, last year. Various other international friendlies and tournaments have been played in the stadium.

Some games have drawn more than 60,000 fans.

It has also hosted several Super Bowls and was the site of the NCAA Final Four tournament in April.

However, University of Phoenix Stadium would face some stiff competition. Assuming every regional venue on the list was interested, it would be up against entries from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Denver, some of which also have experience in hosting large soccer matches.

In all, 37 American stadiums were named as possible venues.

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University of Phoenix Stadium on list to host World Cup games