Groups launch petition drive to bring World Cup to San Diego


A petition drive was launched Monday in support of San Diego’s bid to be one of the cities where World Cup matches would be played if the United States is selected to host the soccer tournament in 2018 or 2022.

San Diego’s World Cup push was announced by Mayor Jerry Sanders at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. He was joined by officials from the San Diego Sports Commission, San Diego Lodging Industry Association, San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association and San Diego Surf Soccer Club.

The link to the petition to potentially bring World Cup matches to San Diego can be found on the front page of the city’s Web site at By 2 this afternoon, more than 2,500 people had signed the petition.

The City Council is scheduled to make San Diego’s World Cup bid official during its meeting Tuesday.

San Diego is one of 27 cities being considered to host World Cup matches if the tournament comes to the U.S. The U.S. Bid Committee, a consortium of American soccer organizations and supporters, has been established to try to convince the Federation Internationale de Football Association that the U.S. should host the tournament in 2018 or 2022.

The U.S. Bid Committee will narrow the number of cities where World Cup matches would by played to 18 by the end of next month. FIFA is scheduled to announce the host countries for 2018 and 2022 in December 2010.

If San Diego is selected, it would have to agree to offer the use of a stadium, hold a festival and pay for public safety. The cost for each city hosting World Cup matches is estimated at $12-$15 million.

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-$550 million economic benefit for each host city and a $6.4 billion economic impact nationally.

The last World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. The 2010 World Cup is being held in South Africa. It then goes to Brazil in 2014. The tournament was last played in the U.S. in 1994.