On Friday, May 14, the U.S. bid committee will hand deliver its bid to
the Federation Internationale de Football Association in Zurich,
Switzerland. Tampa is part of that bid.
to Travis Claytor, spokesperson at Tampa Bay & Company,
will evaluate the bids over the next couple months, visiting cities and
attending meetings in each. On Dec. 2, 2010, they will announce the
countries who will host in 2022. If the U.S. is chosen, there's a good
chance Tampa will be a host city, which is estimated to garner millions
in revenue and an immeasurable amount of global exposure for the Tampa
"There will be 12 to 14 host
cities," says Claytor. "So there's another cut coming. We won't find out
if we are the host city until five years out from the 2022 World Cup.
So by 2017 Tampa should know if it's a host city."
Meantime, Claytor says there is plenty Tampa can do to improve
its chances. A few months ago the U.S. committee initiated an online
to show that the country had community support of soccer,"
Claytor explains. "We have been tasked with getting 50,000 signatures.
All this is to show community support as a city and a country. Tampa
currently has 13,000 signatures. We are in the top 10 as far as
signatures garnered. Our goal is to stay there."
Claytor also says there will be watch parties around the Tampa
Bay region for the opening match
June 11, 2010, and the closing match on July 11, 2010. Other parties are
in the works for U.S. matches on June 12, June 18 and June 23. Claytor
adds, "If the U.S. continues to the finals, there will, of course, be
more watch parties."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Travis Claytor, Tampa Bay & Company