CLEVELAND -- Cleveland has been selected as one of 15 host cities for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament.
Officials from CONCACAF (the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football), the Cleveland Browns, City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission joined together at FirstEnergy Stadium to make the announcement of the Gold Cup’s return to Cleveland just two years after it hosted matches in the previous tournament in 2017.
“We had a very positive experience in 2017, the first time the Gold Cup was brought to Cleveland,” Manolo Zubiria, CONCACAF’S Chief Football Officer, said to reporters after the press conference. “When you go into a new market, you have a lot of uncertainties, but the turnout was excellent.
“Working with not only the Browns, but the local government and the agencies that were involved in the promotion and the organization left us with a very good experience. It was a no-brainer to decide to come back two years later.”
The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup will feature an expanded field of 16 teams from North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean with the event starting on June 14 and culminating in the championship match on July 7.
Currently, six of the 16 spots in the field have been filled by the United States of America, Mexico, Trinidad, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica.
A tournament starting this fall and concluding in March will determine the remaining 10 teams that will fill out of the field.
“As we continue to bring more events here, I think the attendance will just grow and grow from the 28,000 we had in 2017 to who knows in 2019,” said Gregory Rush, the Browns’ vice president of finance. “The soccer community’s always great to work with. They’re fun events to go to, and we love doing them here.”