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San Diego Considers Hosting Soccer World Cup

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Aired 11/17/09

San Diego city council will decide today whether to offer to be a host city, IF the United States wins a bid to host the World Soccer Cup in 2018 or 2022.

San Diego City Council will decide today whether to offer to be a host city, if the United States wins a bid to host the World Soccer Cup in 2018 or 2022.

The economic analysis before the council suggests San Diego could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, if the city agrees to host an international soccer match. The cost is estimated at around $15 million.

Al Kidd, President of the San Diego Sports Council said the U.S. Bid Committee has already narrowed down its choices of potential host cities to 27, and San Diego is one of them.

He said they like the weather, and San Diego’s track record of hosting large sporting events like the Super Bowl and the U.S. Open.

"The third thing that’s very intriguing about San Diego is its proximity to Mexico. They’re very enthusiastic about us being a gateway city, and being able to draw the Mexican fans and the Central American fans,” Kidd said.

Kidd said the commitment would include a month-long "fan festival" that might bring 35,000 people a day to San Diego.

He said a public private partnership between the city and members of the tourist industry could help cover the costs of hosting the events.

Kidd said if the Council likes the idea, the city would find out by December whether the U.S. Bid Committee had selected it. But the United State won't know until December 2010 if FIFA, the International Soccer Federation, has chosen the U.S. to host the games.

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