FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium has drawn the attention of the USA Bid Committee as one of 70 venues in the United States contacted in hopes of drawing the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup to the United States. More than 50 metropolitan markets across the nation have drawn consideration as a possible host city should the United States be awarded host rights.“We’re responding that we’re interested in learning more and finding out what it would take to be a successful host of a World Cup game,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Overall, we’re very interested.”
As part of the formal bid process, the USA Bid Committee contacted public officials and stadium operators in those 50 metropolitan areas. The United States is one of nine nations around the world who have expressed interest in hosting the world’s most popular sporting event. The other eight bids are expected from Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia with dual-nation bids from Netherlands/Belgium and Portugal/Spain. Qatar and South Korea have applied for just the 2022 tournament.The United States last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994. During the 52-match event, the United States set the overall World Cup attendance mark of 3,587,538. The tournament has since expanded to 64 matches with a field of 32 teams.The deadline for nations to submit their final bid paperwork to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup is set for May 2010. Each bidding nation must enter a list of at least 12 facilities with the ability to hold at least 40,000 fans. Razorback Stadium has a capacity of 72,000 with the ability to hold 78,000 for additional overflow. The USA Bid Committee has a deadline of Friday, April 17, to hear back from officials representing the more than 50 metropolitan areas and 70 venues.