It could happen.
Notwithstanding the fact U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati held a teleconference this morning to discuss potential venues should the U.S. win another World Cup bid and “declared Los Angeles is a very important market for us.”
Notwithstanding the fact Los Angeles hosted more games – including the final – than any other U.S. market in 1994, Gulati observed.
And notwithstanding the fact that with three pro teams, the U.S. Soccer training headquarters in Carson and the largest futbol-mad Latino population in the nation, Southern California is arguably the best soccer market in the U.S.
Southern California could still miss out on another World Cup entirely even though the Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum were among 70 stadiums in more than 50 markets U.S. Soccer has identified as potential venues.
Because quite simply (sorry to be so technical here) those two stadiums suck. And there’s plenty of competition whether it’s new stadiums like Meadowlands Stadium in New York that will open in 2010 or even college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark.
Gulati was asked if the World Cup returning to the area was contingent upon a new stadium being built here and observed that games will likely be considered for “venues that are not built today.”
“I would be surprised if there wasn’t a stadium development or a redesign planned before the World Cup,” he said of the two stadiums in L.A. “I would be surprised if there weren’t a better alternative than exists today.”
Really? I wouldn’t.
Given the bureaucracies – one by a city, the other by a ghastly joint powers authority-type creature – that operate both venues I would be more surprised if anything was done to renovate or replace either venue.
Why would U.S. Soccer be able to do something the NFL can’t after years of trying and either build a new stadium or renovate an existing one?
Am I being too pessimistic or hard on those stadiums?