The Copa America tournament will start at Atlanta United’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and finish at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
CONMEBOL, which is South America’s football organization, has confirmed the 14 cities that will host Copa América matches in 2024. This championship is coming back to the United States for the first time since 2016.
Arlington (TX), Charlotte (NC), Orlando (FL), Miami Gardens (FL), Santa Clara (CA), Atlanta (GA), East Rutherford (NJ), Houston (TX), Austin (TX), Inglewood (CA), Glendale (AZ), Kansas City (KS), and Kansas City (MO) are some of the 14 cities hosting the Copa América matches.
The tournament starts at Atlanta United’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and ends at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
This event will take place outside of South America for only the second time, with the first being the centennial Copa América in 2016.
Ecuador was supposed to host the event, but they pulled out in November 2022 due to economic and security worries, along with a shortage of suitable venues.
Reports say that only the United States and Peru want to host the 2024 edition. In January of this year, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, the federations of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, jointly picked the United States.
Even though the United States has better stadium infrastructure than any South American country, the decision to hold the event there faced significant criticism in Latin America.
Ezequiel Fernández Moores wrote in the Argentine outlet La Nación in February, “South America is finding it challenging to organize its historic national team tournament.”
CONMEBOL faced difficulties in organizing the last three Copa América tournaments in South America.
Since Brazil was already hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the hosting responsibility was moved to Chile in 2015.
Colombia was set to co-host the 2020 edition with Argentina, but it got postponed by a year due to the Covid epidemic. Protests in Colombia the following year led to the country stepping down as a co-host, and Argentina soon followed suit due to high Covid cases.
The competition was moved to Brazil and played without spectators in attendance.
For the third consecutive time, the host country has been changed, and the United States has taken over the organizing responsibilities from Ecuador.
Fernández Moores raised a question about why the United States doesn’t face similar scrutiny, especially regarding safety.
Fernández Moores wrote, “It doesn’t matter that games can be played in California, the state that experienced four mass shootings in just 10 days in January.”
“For the third consecutive year, the United States had over six hundred mass shootings in 2022. In the first three weeks of 2023, there have already been 39 shootings.”
“It’s unimaginable that CONMEBOL, for the 2024 Copa América, or FIFA, for the 2026 World Cup, would ask the United States to reconsider its pattern of violence, involving naturalized citizens, that leads to incidents in shopping malls, schools, or any street.”
Hosting the 2024 Copa América will be a big help for the United States. They’re getting ready to share hosting duties for the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico.
A good tournament for the US Men’s public Team could help get people excited before 2026. In the US, football is sometimes not as popular as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, so this could bring more attention to it.
La Nación reported that the 2016 edition was a big hit. It had a record average of 46,000 people attending, making it the most money-making Copa América ever.
Since Lionel Messi joined Inter Miami, it has caught the world’s attention and boosted ticket sales. The 2024 Copa América could be a great practice run for organizers and a fun experience for fans.