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City Council to consider World Cup possibilities

The City Council on Tuesday will mull whether to put San Diego forward as one of the cities where FIFA World Cup matches would be played if the United States is selected to host the soccer tournament in 2018 or 2022.

The World Cup, the world’s most widely viewed sporting event, is held every four years and is comprised of 64 matches played by 32 international teams in more than a dozen cities throughout the host nation.

According to a report to the City Council, holding a World Cup in the U.S. would generate a $350 million - $500 million economic impact for each host city and a $6.4 billion economic benefit nationally.

The U.S. Bid Committee, a consortium of America soccer organizations and supporters, was established to try and lure the World Cup to the country in 2018 or 2022.

San Diego is one of 27 cities being considered to host World Cup matches if the tournament comes to the U.S.

If the city is selected, it would have to agree to offer free use of a stadium; hold a festival that would accommodate up to 50,000 people per day for two weeks; and pay for public safety services, according to the report. The cost for each city hosting World Cup matches is estimated at $12-$15 million.

The Federation Internationale de Football Association, Soccer’s worldwide governing body which stages the World Cup, is expected to announce the host country for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010.

The last World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. The 2010 World Cup is being held in South Africa. It will then go to Brazil in 2014.

The tournament has only been held in the United States once, 1994, when no matches were held at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.