Philadelphia plans for 2024 Copa América and other soccer games at Lincoln Monetary FIeld

Dan Hilferty was currently at the center of Philadelphia’s 2026 Globe Cup organizing as the chair of the nearby organizing committee. But his current move to turn into Comcast-Spectacor’s new CEO has place him even far more at the center of the action.

Comcast is amongst the most influential sponsors of the nearby Globe Cup work, and definitely the most renowned name. Comcast-Spectacor is just a single branch of the organization, whose Television division owns the Spanish-language rights to the 2026 tournament (and this year’s women’s Globe Cup), as effectively as the rights to the English Premier League, Olympics, and U.S. national group dwelling games.

The several branches typically operate on their personal. But for one thing this major, there’s overlap behind the scenes.

“We obtain synergies and [are] figuring out how we could function closely with FIFA to strengthen the fan knowledge,” Hilferty mentioned. “But also, pretty frankly, to make positive that not only our shoppers, but Philadelphians in basic have an chance to be aspect of this wonderful occasion.”

How that plays out will be a single of the greatest nearby soccer stories of the subsequent 3 years. There’s currently been a lot of controversy more than plans to create a sports field complicated in FDR Park that would serve as a Globe Cup practice facility that summer season.

A loud caucus in South Philadelphia is opposed to developing more than park land identified as the Meadows. A similarly loud caucus has responded by noting the city’s lack of recreational sports facilities. Nearby officials have attempted to claim there’s space for each.

» Study Far more: FDR Park neighborhood meeting draws hundreds, begins off in tense face-off

Protesters at a meeting in January about plans to create a sports field complicated at FDR Park.. … Read moreJessica Griffin / Employees Photographer

Hilferty produced no reference to that topic, even though that wasn’t as well surprising — it is been handled far more by City Hall. But he has been involved in other locations, like a series of current meetings with FIFA on subjects like hotel capacity.

“They really feel quite fantastic about exactly where we stand,” Hilferty mentioned of FIFA. “Not only with the [stadium] web-site, building sponsorships, but also organizing about anything from exactly where we’re going to do the fan fest to exactly where we are with all the hotels.”

The fan fest place is an additional major item when it comes to matters beyond the sports complicated, for nearby residents and out-of-town guests alike. Penn’s Landing has been the front-runner place for a though, but Hilferty mentioned there’s nonetheless no choice but.

“That’s a dialogue with the people at FIFA, and at this point we haven’t identified a final web-site,” he mentioned.

The subsequent major factor on the calendar is earning hosting rights for subsequent year’s Copa América, the South American championship tournament that will come to the U.S. as a warmup for 2026. As the 2016 Copa América Centenario did, it is anticipated to drive a spike in interest, and serve as a test run for Globe Cup host venues.

But there’s no assure that it will be played only at Globe Cup web-sites. Cities that came up brief in the bidding could get Copa games as a consolation prize, as could major markets like Phoenix and Chicago that didn’t bid for Globe Cup games at all. So Philadelphia will have to compete.

» Study Far more: Dan Hilferty, who ran IBX and helped Philly land the Globe Cup, is new boss at Comcast Spectacor

Lincoln Monetary Field hosted games in the 2016 Copa América Centenario, and could host games when the tournament returns to the United States subsequent year.. … Read moreCal Sport Media through AP Photos

Hilferty mentioned the Globe Cup organizing committee will not be officially involved in that, but he sent a message to the entities that will take the lead.

“I definitely hope the powers that be that are involved, no matter whether it be the city, [the] Convention and Guests Bureau, that we have a fantastic shot at it.”

The Eagles will also be substantially involved — and games of the Copa’s scale would undoubtedly be at Lincoln Monetary Field. No matter if the U.S. plays right here or not, the crowds will simply be larger than Subaru Park’s 18,500-seat capacity.

“Our area is dwelling to a big and passionate soccer neighborhood,” the Eagles mentioned in a statement. “We will constantly be interested in participating in conversations that could lead to bringing globe-class soccer events to Lincoln Monetary Field for these fans to get pleasure from.”

Though the Globe Cup committee may not be officially involved in Copa América organizing, Hilferty knows that everybody in town shares duty for obtaining marquee events right here just before 2026. The Linc hasn’t hosted a major soccer game due to the fact August 2019, when the U.S. ladies came to town immediately after the Globe Cup and drew almost 50,000 fans — the greatest crowd for a standalone friendly in group history.

» Study Far more: Philly’s 2026 Globe Cup bid officials strategy for the scale of hosting the globe

The U.S. women’s soccer group drew 49,504 fans to Lincoln Monetary Field for a game there in 2019.. … Read moreMitchell Leff / Getty Photos

The pandemic has certainly been a issue, but 3 and a half years is a lengthy adequate wait. European teams will return to the U.S. for tours this summer season, and there will be the Concacaf men’s Gold Cup.

Nor has the web-site for the men’s Nations League final 4 been set but. That is the occasion exactly where the U.S. will most likely play Europe-primarily based stars such as Medford’s Brenden Aaronson and Downingtown’s Zack Steffen, so they can take the summer season off. They haven’t played at the Linc just before, and it is simple to envision them obtaining a raucous reception.

“If it is international events, if it is nearby events like the Unity Cup, to perhaps obtaining some [English Premier League] teams to come and play [here], we’re seeking at all sorts of possibilities,” Hilferty mentioned. “Obviously the city’s involved, the Convention and Guests Bureau is involved, the Eagles are involved, the Union are involved. So we continue to appear for methods to develop the game by inviting premier teams to play right here — males and ladies.”

Final week, Hilferty was a single of the guests of honor at the Union’s annual Legends of Soccer fundraiser dinner for the team’s charity foundation. The occasion raised far more than $282,000.

“We’re all quite proud of the Philadelphia Union, [what] the Philadelphia Union Foundation does for our wonderful neighborhood of Chester and effectively beyond,” he mentioned.

» Study Far more: Gio Reyna, Zack Steffen return to USMNT for this month’s Concacaf Nations League games

Dan Hilferty (left) with Union aspect-owner Richard Leibovitch on stage at the Union Foundation’s Legends of Soccer Gala dinner.. … Read moreJonathan Tannenwald / Employees

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