The USA Bid Committee this afternoon announced the roster of U.S. cities that will vie to host games during the world soccer championships.
The eighteen cities chosen: Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Denver, Tampa, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Nashville, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York -- and yes, Kansas City.
There were 27 cities in the running.
Sad: Kansas City kicked the rump of St. Louis in an online signature drive leading up to today's announcement; more than 10,000 people signed on to support KC's bid, while fewer than 4,000 people signed the petition for St. Louis.
Support from the community and the community's history of soccer were factors in choosing the eighteen cities, according to the USA Bid Committee.
The announcement is a loss for St. Louis' CVC, which courted the US Bid Committee for much of last year, assuring its honchos that the turf surface at the Edward Jones Dome shouldn't disqualify the 'Lou. Natural grass is a FIFA requirement for host venues.
The U.S. is competing against England, Australia, Japan, Spain & Portugal, Russia and the Netherlands to host the 2018 competition. The U.S.'s formal bid will be hand-delivered to FIFA in May, and the host country will be announced on December 2.
The last time the U.S. did the honors? World Cup
By the way, former St. Louis Cardinals CEO Mark Lamping attended the USA Bid Committee press conference today (and was singled out by name several times); Giants Stadium, his new employer, will host at least one World Cup 2018 game should the U.S. win the bid.