PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 4, 2010) - Showing the strength of its ever-growing and enthusiastic soccer community, Philadelphia can claim another first by being the first city to eclipse the 100,000-signature mark on the FIFA World Cup™ U.S. Bid City Leaderboard. Philadelphia has more than 102,400 signatures to sit atop the leaderboard and holds a more than 20,000-signature lead in the competition against 17 other finalist U.S. cities.
"The power of the Greater Philadelphia region continues to prove that the game of soccer is in us,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “Surpassing 100,000 signatures and leading all bidding cities continues to demonstrate that Philadelphia is one of the hot spots for the sport of soccer in America."
Through a regional campaign, including English and Spanish public service announcements (PSAs) urging fans to text “Philly” to 22442, Philadelphia claimed the top U.S. spot at the end of September and has steadily increased its lead. The PSAs feature Philadelphia athletes - Philadelphia Eagle David Akers, Philadelphia Phillies Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia 76er Evan Turner and Philadelphia Union’s Michael Orozco Fiscal. WPVI, Comcast and Univision have been the primary media partners in the PSA campaign.
The USA Bid Committee initiated this campaign last December as a competition among the finalist U.S. host cities for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. A decision on which countries will host the competition in both 2018 and 2022 will be made in four weeks on December 2. The U.S. withdrew from 2018 consideration, deciding to focus exclusively on 2022.
Philadelphia’s exciting bid efforts are the result of 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. If Philadelphia is ultimately one of the U.S. host cities, all games would be held at Lincoln Financial Field.
“This is the result of many great partners working together to bring the FIFA World Cup™ back to the U.S. and Philadelphia,” said Larry Needle, executive director, Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Hosting the World Cup would be a huge coup for the region, and even the bid process helps to further position Philadelphia as an international sports destination.”
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.thegameisinphiladelphia.com.