In Europe, teams play in front of empty stadiums as punishment. In the United States, they do it every other game in the Gold Cup.

CONCACAF just announced its venues for the Confederation tournament forever hosted by the United States, and they should be fairly familiar to fans of all field sports:

The region’s premier National Team tournament will again expand its footprint by visiting eight new world-class venues in this year’s edition: Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA; M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD; Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO; Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT; BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX; Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL; JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR and Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT. Six new Gold Cup cities are featured in this group of newcomers, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Hartford, Portland and Salt Lake City. Houston and Miami return to host the tournament, for the 5th and 9th time consecutive time, respectively.

The event will also return to five venues from its previous editions including Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX (2009, 2011); Soldier Field in Chicago, IL (2007, 2009, 2011); Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA (1991, 2002, 2011); Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ (2011) and CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA (2005, 2009). Years in parenthesis denote Gold Cups at each venue.

As someone on the Twitter quickly surmised:

And, additionally, a few matches in cavernous stadiums at one-third capacity.

Despite the boosterism offered by CONCACAF about 600,000 in attendance and 9 sellout games, there were more than a few games in the Gold Cup two years ago played in NFL stadia that were two-thirds empty. They can’t all be Mexico/USA games. I always try to be polite to the Gold Cup, dutifully watching at inconvenient hours online in anticipation of some incredible refereeing blunder that destroys Canada’s chances. But the reliance on NFL venues—a big money-maker for the games which exceed 45,000 capacity—really sucks the life out a tournament that no one really cares about except the nations that rarely win it.

Comments (8)

  1. What time zone are you living in that the games are on at an inconvenient time? And for the last decade at least, the Canada matches have always been aired on basic cable TV.

  2. Fantastic! I hope Canada gets drawn into a group that plays in either Portland or Seattle, hopefully on the first matchday so that we…wait for it…might get a home game in Vancouver!

  3. It’s long past time to push for a permanent merge of Copa America and the Gold Cup.

    • So you wanna see the current Copa America but with US and Mexico always in it instead of just one of them?

      • No, I’d like to see all of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have a qualification system, and whoever gets in gets in.

    • Might as well just have the World Cup every fucking year.

      • This is not the World Cup. This is the regional championship — i.e. the equivalent of the European Championship, which people seem to enjoy. I just think that the Copa America and the Gold Cup suffer from drawing their teams from small pools. Combine the two pools and you’ve got a better, more legit tournament. You also have a lengthier qualification process, which means that teams like Canada get more meaningful games.

  4. I stopped giving a flying fuck about Gold Cup after Canada got screwed a few years back in the semis vs US.

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