Atlanta hosts the opening match and Miami gets the final match of Copa America 2024 – WSVN 7News | Miami news, weather, sports

Atlanta hosts the opening match and Miami gets the final match of Copa America 2024 – WSVN 7News |  Miami news, weather, sports

ATLANTA (AP) — Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has been named the inaugural 2024 Copa America and Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida will host the final of the tournament, which is being held outside its home continent for only the second time.

A joint announcement was made on Monday by soccer’s governing bodies in South America, North and Central America and the Caribbean. Other locations and schedule for the 16-team tournament have not been revealed.

The tournament is scheduled to begin on June 20 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a capacity of 71,000 spectators, where Major League Soccer team Atlanta United has set several attendance records. Defending Copa America champions Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, are supposed to be one of the teams participating in the opening match.

The retractable-roof stadium near downtown Atlanta, which opened in 2017, will install a grass field over the tournament’s artificial playing surface.

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens already has a Bermuda grass field and seats about 65,000 after a $500 million renovation that included installing a roof over the seating areas. The 36-year-old home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins will host its final game on July 14.

If Argentina qualifies for the championship game, that would give Messi a chance to play in the same market as his current MLS team, Inter Miami.

“We expect stadiums filled with the passion of the entire American continent for the opening and final ceremonies,” said Alejandro Domínguez, President of the South American Confederation CONMEBOL. He said in a statement.

Both stadiums have been selected as sites for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

“Cities have passionate sports and soccer fans who are known for supporting major events,” Victor Montagliani, president of the North, Central American and Caribbean Football Confederation, said in a statement.

The Copa America is expanding this season, with six North American teams joining the usual ten South American nations competing for the continental championship. It reflects a special tournament held in 2016 in the United States to commemorate the centenary of the event – ​​the only previous time it was held outside of South America.

The lottery will be held on December 7 in Miami.

Neither Miami nor Atlanta participated in the Copa América Centenario, which was held at 10 venues: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; NRG Stadium in Houston; Soldier Field in Chicago; Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida; Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California; CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle; State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The opening match of 2016 was played at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area, while Chile’s final win over Argentina on penalties – with Messi leaving the field in tears after his effort went over the crossbar – was played at MetLife Stadium in suburban New Jersey. York City.

Both stadiums have been selected as sites for the 2026 World Cup, along with Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Financial Stadium, NRG Stadium and CenturyLink Field, making them strong candidates to host Copa America matches as well. Other World Cup locations in the United States are AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

With the exception of the Centenario Tournament, Copa America hosting duties are usually rotated between the ten CONMEBOL countries in South America. The arrangement called for hosting Ecuador in 2024, but that country backed out due to security problems.

All ten South American teams compete in the quadrennial tournament, and two guest teams have been invited to most tournaments since 1993.

For the 2024 edition, CONMEBOL’s starting players will be joined by six CONCACAF qualifying teams, consisting of the four Nations League quarter-final winners and two quarter-final losers.

The two quarters got off to a good start last week. The United States, which was not guaranteed a place in the Copa America despite its hosting duties, beat Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 in Austin, Texas, to build a commanding aggregate advantage heading into Monday night’s second leg in Port of Spain.

In the other first leg matches, Honduras stunned Mexico 2-0, Canada beat Jamaica 2-1, and Panama beat Costa Rica 3-0. The return match between Panama and Costa Rica is scheduled to be held on Monday evening, while the other two quarter-final matches will be held on Tuesday.

The UEFA Nations League semi-finals and final will be played in March at AT&T Stadium.

Atlanta and Miami will also be in the mix for another major tournament scheduled in the United States before the World Cup.

The FIFA Club World Cup will be expanded from seven to 32 teams for the 2025 edition, which will be held in June and July instead of its previous winter date on the calendar. The locations for this event are expected to be announced next year.

Teams that have already qualified for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup include Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Seattle, Palmeiras, Flamengo, Fluminense, Monterrey and Lyon.

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