Orlando to bid as host city for Copa America Centenario USA 2016

The City Beautiful a potential stop for Latin America’s premier tournament

The City Beautiful will submit a bid as a host city for the Copa America Centenario USA 2016 tournament. Orlando City Soccer Club, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Orlando Venues will partner in the effort to bring the popular Latin American championship to the Orlando Citrus Bowl, and to Central Florida, for the first time in its history.

The 2016 edition of tournament, which will take place in June, will mark the first time this premier event has been staged outside of South America.

“The Copa America Centenario is precisely the type of world class soccer tournament we envision hosting in Orlando,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “A major event of this magnitude delivers extensive economic benefits to the Central Florida region while solidifying the area’s reputation as the ‘Soccer Capital of the South.’ We look forward to working closely with our partners through the bid process and securing Orlando’s place in this historic championship.”

“The prospect of hosting this high-profile international soccer tournament here in Orlando is appealing on numerous levels. Between the tourism, economic impact and sheer enjoyment of the game, this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our city,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Now that the Orlando Citrus Bowl has been newly reconstructed, the City Beautiful is ready, willing and able to provide the perfect setting for the beautiful game.”

“A tournament of this magnitude would be a fantastic addition to the long list of marquee events that Orlando is hosting over the next three years,” said John Bisignano, President and CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “With community support for soccer at an all-time high, and great partners at Orlando City and Orlando Venues, we are excited to help bring Copa America to the new Citrus Bowl in 2016.”

The 2016 Copa America Centenario will feature six teams from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and all 10 teams from the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

From CONCACAF, host USA and Mexico are automatic qualifiers, while Costa Rica (2014 Copa Centroamericana winner) and Jamaica (2014 Caribbean Cup winner) qualified this fall.

The final two teams will be determined via a playoff to be held among the top four finishers at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup not already qualified for the Copa America Centenario.

The 2015 Major League Soccer season kicks off at the Orlando Citrus Bowl as the Lions host New York City FC on March 8, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. To purchase Season Tickets, visit http://www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY. Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.