Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – NRG Stadium will host one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world as it was announced on Thursday that the Copa America Centenario will come to Houston.
Copa America Centenario is the 100th edition of South America’s championship and will take place outside of Soth America for the first time. The tournament will be held between the top teams in North, Central and South America along with Carribean countries.
“Copa America Centenario will be the largest and most prestigious soccer tournament to be held in the United States since World Cup USA in 1994,” said Jamey Rootes, president of the Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. “We are proud that Houston and NRG Stadium were selected to be part of this historic event. It is a tribute to our world-class city, fans and venue. We look forward to welcoming the soccer world to our community next June.”
“On behalf of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority we are excited to work with Lone Star Sports and Entertainment to host these high-profile international soccer matches at NRG Stadium”, said Janis Burke, CEO of Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. We are a community that loves soccer and are thrilled to work with the U.S. Soccer Federation to make this event a huge success for all involved.”
The other host cities are: Boston (Gillette Stadium), Chicago (Soldier Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl), New York (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium) and Seattle (CenturyLink Field).
The Copa America is a scaled down version of the World Cup with 16 teams rather than 32 but each city will host a minimum of three games.
From CONCACAF the United States (host) and Mexico (Gold Cup Champion) are automatic qualifiers while Costa Rica (2014 Central American Cup Winner) and Jamaica (14 CFU Caribbean Cup winner) also get auto bids. Two more teams from CONCACAF will be determined by double header playoffs set to be played Jan 8, 2016 between Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti and Panama taking on Cuba. The winners will get a place in the tournament.
The South American field will see Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Houston Dynamo season ticket members will get access to an exclusive private sale for tickets to the tournament when they go on sale. Fans can sign up to get more information on the sales of tickets here.