L.A. among finalists to stage Copa America soccer event

L.A. among finalists to stage Copa America soccer event

Los Angeles is one of three California locations being considered as a host site for the prestigious 2016 Copa America soccer tournament.

San Francisco and San Diego are also on the list of 24 metropolitan areas included among the finalists. To be considered, a venue must have a minimum seating capacity of 50,000. It is anticipated that between eight and 13 stadiums will be selected.

The 2016 event, which will kick off in June, will mark the centennial edition of the South American championship, among the most storied and important soccer tournaments in the world. It will also be the first time the event will be played outside South America.

In addition to 10 South American countries, six CONCACAF nations -- including the U.S., Mexico, Jamaica and Costa Rica -- will participate.

"Everyone understands the tournament will be a huge event. And it's exciting to see all of these cities putting together bids to be involved," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. "With over 18 months until the tournament starts, we already are starting to see the impact and interest the tournament will have with soccer fans across the United States."

Venues have until March 16, 2015, to submit proposals and the winning cities will be announced in May.

The finalists:

Arizona: Phoenix

California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

Colorado: Denver

Washington, D.C.

Florida: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa

Georgia: Atlanta

Illinois: Chicago

Indiana: Indianapolis

Maryland: Baltimore

Massachusetts: Boston

Michigan: Detroit

Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis

New York/New Jersey: Greater New York

Ohio: Cleveland

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Tennessee: Nashville

Texas: Dallas, Houston

Washington: Seattle

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