The US Soccer Federation recently announced its list of final 18 host cities for our country’s official bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. Not among the finalists: Chicago. That’s Chicago, Capital of the Midwest*, third largest city, home of Soldier Field, Blago and Mayor Daley, etc. It’s a glaring omission and a blow for the Windy City – especially when you consider the 18 cities that did make the cut will be representing our country for the biggest sporting event on the planet.
So what gives? According to the boys over at Pitch Invasion, Mayor Daley’s office couldn’t be bothered to get behind the effort, which presumably would’ve included some presentations, encouragement of cooperation, and general professionalism. Olympic bid-fatigue, perhaps? USSF President Sunil Gulati speculated on this, also noting Soldier Field would have been the smallest stadium in the mix at 61,000. Another theory might be the USSF (which has its HQ in Chicago and presumably knows the town) looked at all the data, including the ridiculous taxes, the corruption and graft at all levels, the woeful financial situation, and just decided Indianapolis and Kansas City would serve the Midwest just fine, thanks.
Too bad for Illinois and Chicago, because when we get the Cup, it will be huge – all eyes on those host cities for that month. As for us – we’re happy to travel anywhere in the country to watch the matches, and Indy is a nice familiar trip with friends’ houses to crash in just like Chicago. Besides, when the Cup rolls around we’ll be following the U.S. Team wherever they go, be it L.A., Houston, or Philly.
*So they’d have you believe…