U.S. World Cup committee looking at Michigan Stadium

Submitted by turbo cool on April 9th, 2009 at 7:54 AM

For any of you soccer fans out there, the U.S. World Cup bid committee is trying to get the world cup here in either 2018 or 2022. They have contacted over 50 potential sites who could hosts. Anyways, Michigan Stadium was one of them. I personally think that it would be awesome to have World Cup games at Michigan Stadium. I know that i'd buy tickets for sure.




April 9th, 2009 at 8:07 AM ^

Unfortunately, this has zero chance of happening.

It's purely an effort to impress FIFA with the size of American stadiums. There's no way the field is wide enough for World Cup play. I think the field has to be at least 67 yards wide and over 70 is preferred, then add space for ad boards, etc, and you need a playing surface that's at least 75 yards wide. There's no way that the playing field at Michigan Stadium is much over 60, especially in the corners.


April 9th, 2009 at 8:16 AM ^

The field is 53 1/3 yards wide. Do you think there's an additional 30 feet from the sideline to the wall on each side?


April 9th, 2009 at 9:02 AM ^

I am not certain that FIFA is comfortable with anything but natural grass for World Cup competition. I know they've tried it with some youth competitions, but I don't think they've given it a full green light.


April 9th, 2009 at 9:36 AM ^

When they played at the Silverdome, they had State develop some sort of hardier grass that they planted in trays. Then they rotated it in an out of the stadium. (I think that I read that they had three sets, but I may be wrong on that.) I remember at the time it was a big deal because no one had tried to use grass at an indoor stadium before. If I recall, I think that it was only sort of a success.

turbo cool

April 9th, 2009 at 9:15 AM ^

yeah, they played at the silverdome. also, didn't they play at spartan stadium in san joese in 94? That field is tiny. I honestly think there is a chance barring the mich AD actually lets it slide. RIP Bo, I love the guy but with him not around they may be more open to the idea. They would have to be guaranteed some revenue and it would bring in lots of $$$ to the area.

and there would be tons of hot chicks from all over the world in ann arbor for a few weeks. yes please.


April 9th, 2009 at 11:25 AM ^

Michigan was approached to host games that were eventually played in the Silverdome. They would have had to extend the width of the field and put in natural grass (IIRC the grass would have been paid for). Long story short, Michigan declined, stating that the tradition is to only use the stadium for football games and graduation...


April 9th, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

Bill Martin discussed this possibility with my History of College Athletics class a while ago (actually it for was hosting first-round soccer matches if Chicago gets the 2016 Olympic bid, but close enough). He said they'd make it wide enough by filling the stadium with dirt, about 10 rows deep into the stands. It sounds crazy, but I'm assuming (hoping?) he's done the background work to make sure it's feasible before nominating Michigan Stadium for such things. In any case, I think there would be enough of a backlash from the football community to keep something like that from ever happening.


April 9th, 2009 at 2:24 PM ^

As a red-blooded football loving American, I would like to say to anyone in the football community who says a word about this: STFU.

If this were to happen it would be the coolest thing to ever happen in my life at UM. I love Michigan tradition, but when you talk about Michigan being a truly international school, you have to consider hosting a World Cup game to be a truly great honor.

Plus, as stated:



April 11th, 2009 at 2:58 PM ^

Hahaha... This is stated as if it's a serious post... But filling the stadium w/ dirt 10 rows up?

You *have* to be kidding... this just doesn't sound possible. How would this be done? First off, that is an absolute shitload of dirt. Second... I'm not even going to continue, b/c this post has to be a joke.


April 9th, 2009 at 12:13 PM ^

The issue with the playing surface being too narrow was accounted for at the Silverdome with a platform installed which covered the first few rows of seats onto which the natural grass playing surface was laid. I have no doubt that this would be the configuration at Michigan Stadium.


April 9th, 2009 at 12:15 PM ^

After all, who wouldn't want 1,000 drunken English soccer fans running around Ann Arbor's downtown at night? What could possibly go wrong?


April 9th, 2009 at 1:39 PM ^

We could hold out hope for a Brazilian game. If you have ever watched the World Cup, you know that Brazilian games bring out all of the babes. They are the hottest nation on Earth. Maybe we could get Brazil vs. Sweden. That way you can have your tan brunettes and your glowing blondes.


April 9th, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

This is not likely to happen anytime soon. The 2018 World Cup will most likely be held in Europe. The 2010 one is in Africa and 2014 is in Latin America, so it'll be their turn again. And 2022 might be in Asia again (China?).

Little Bro

April 9th, 2009 at 2:54 PM ^

- 2014 is Brazil (South America), not Latin America
- There is no more continental rotational policy; only continents who have hosted the past two World Cups are not allowed to bid. (South America, Africa)
- There's no evidence to suggest that FIFA is leaning towards Europe for 2018.


April 9th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

It would be very, very surprising if Europe went three World Cups in a row without hosting. Going back a few decades, a European country has hosted the event in 1966, 1974, 1982, 1990, 1998 and 2006. UEFA is the world's marquee soccer confederation. It was considered a surprise for Europe not to get the WC for 2014. They are not likely to be denied again.

Yinka Double Dare

April 9th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

Actually, it's almost universally thought that either 2018 or 2022 (if 2018 is in Europe - England is trying to get us to back off of 2018 because they want it) will be here especially since they ditched the rotation system. I think the '94 Cup still holds the attendance record for the tournament even though the three since then have had 32 teams instead of 24 as they did in '94.

Putting one here with 32 teams would break the record easily. We have big-ass state-of-the-art stadiums ready to go (virtually all new stadiums were built with hosting international soccer matches in mind, so they're all wide enough), more and bigger than other countries, so FIFA can get more money from ticket sales. The US market still matters a lot for advertisers and the Cup being here means FIFA can extract more money from the advertisers because far more people here pay attention when it's actually here.

And FIFA, like everyone else, likes money.


April 9th, 2009 at 3:24 PM ^

I don't know. I don't see Europe getting denied again and, even if they've officially dropped the rotation policy, it still obviously holds importance in some voters' minds. I expect a European country (most likely England) to get it in 2018 and I would not be surprised to see China bid for, and win, the 2022 WC. You can make a lot of the same financial/attendance arguments for them, with the added bonus of putting the event in a place it's never been. They may not have the infrastructure now, but then, South Africa certainly didn't. If they don't bid, our chances get a lot better.