Thirty venues mull Gold Cup
NEW YORK - Thirty prospective venue and host committees from across the United States participated in the start of the stadium selection process for the 2013 Gold Cup on Tuesday, asking questions of executives from CONCACAF and Soccer United Marketing on an informational conference call.

With the 2011 Gold Cup attracting a record total attendance of 617,034 and all-time high television ratings, the number of potential venues was nearly double that which participated in the same exercise two years ago.

Representatives of cities from the Atlantic to Pacific coasts asked questions of CONCACAF Acting General Secretary Ted Howard and SUM officials in advance of the March 23 deadline to submit bids to host the two quarterfinal doubleheader dates, the semifinal doubleheader and the single-game final.

As in the past two Gold Cups, 13 venues will be selected for as many dates in the 2013 championship, with an announcement on the sites expected by the end of the year.

"We are extremely pleased with the increased interes in the Gold Cup," Howard said. "We look forward to working with our stadium partners to continue to grow this biennial event and build soccer in the CONCACAF region."

Soccer United Marketing, the commercial arm of Major League Soccer, is CONCACAF marketing and event partner for the Gold Cup.