Despite the half empty stadiums for some games, ESPN Deportes is reporting that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF are talking about making the Copa America a once-every-four-years tournament to be permanently hosted by the United States.
Apparently discussions have been ongoing for some time, with a CONCACAF spokesman indicating they were close, according to the ESPN Deportes report.
This summer’s tournament, scheduled to mark the 100th anniversary of South America’s championship, includes six teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean and is being hosted outside of the continent for the first time.
Why would CONMEBOL countries agree to the idea of the US as the permanent host, especially considering the majority of participating nations are CONMEBOL teams?
The answer is money. No other country in the world has the infrastructure to host such a major tourney on a regular basis as the US. The US has literally dozens of 60,000+ stadiums, that can generate incredible revenues via ticket sales. Add in additional TV revenue if the CONCACAF teams are involved and it is easy to see why making the USA the permanent hosy is appealing to CONMEBOL teams.
Keep in mind also that most of the senior leadership in CONMEBOL is under indictment on for bribery charges related to the Copa America. Adding potential bigger pots of money to skim from is always going to get their votes.
But from a footballing standpoint would this be a good move, especially for the US who are perennial contenders to win the Gold Cup? Winning the Copa America is a much more difficult prospect, but one that US coach Jurgen Klinsmann is up for:
“That would be huge for our region to play every four years the Copa America,” he said. “The format for us and, speaking on behalf of Mexico and Costa Rica, it would be huge for CONCACAF’s top teams.”
What do you think of the idea of making the Copa America a once-every-four-years tournament to be permanently hosted by the United States?