Philadelphia Claims First On Bid City Leaderboard

Bidding to become a World Cup Host City, Philly sees dramatic spike
PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 30, 2010) - For the first time since signatures began being collected last December, Philadelphia is in first place atop the FIFA World Cup™ U.S. Bid City Leaderboard, with more than 84,000 signatures and an 8,000 signature lead.

The USA Bid committee initiated this campaign last winter as a competition among the finalist U.S. host cities for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™, which recently surpassed one million signatures.

Through a regional campaign, including English and Spanish public service announcements (PSA) urging fans to text Philly to 22442, Philadelphia has seen a surge up the leaderboard in recent weeks. The PSAs feature Philadelphia athletes -- Philadelphia Eagles' David Akers, Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia 76ers' Evan Turner and Philadelphia Union’s Michael Orozco Fiscal. WPVI, Comcast and Univision have been the main partners in the PSA campaign.

Philadelphia is one of 18 U.S. finalist cities bidding to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. This bid effort is a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Union, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association, Philadelphia Sports Congress, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and many others. Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter are serving as honorary co-chairs for Philadelphia’s bid, which would be held at Lincoln Financial Field.

FIFA will announce the host countries for both 2018 and 2022 on December 2.

Considered to be the largest sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup™ has an estimated economic impact of $300-500 million dollars per host city, according to a study conducted by the USA Bid Committee.

To sign the petition, watch the PSA and learn more about Philadelphia’s World Cup efforts, visit www.gousabid.com/philadelphia.