PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine is the undisputed world leader for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events and venues on a global scale.

Exploria Stadium to host Gold Cup matches

Concacaf has announced Exploria Stadium, the home of Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, as a host venue for the 2021 Gold Cup.

The Concacaf Gold Cup is the main association football competition of the men’s national football teams determining the continental champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is held every two years.

Exploria Stadium is one of nine stadiums to join the previously announced Allegiant Stadium (Final) and DRV PNK Stadium (Prelims) as the 11 venues that will host 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup matches.

The nine stadiums that will host group and knockout stage matches of this year’s edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup are, in alphabetical order by stadium name (previously hosted Gold Cups):

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2017)

BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019)

Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS (2011, 2015, 2019)

Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX (1993)

Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL (first-time host)

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019)

Q2 Stadium, Austin, TX (first-time host)

State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ (2009, 2015, 2017, 2019)

Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX (2015, 2017, and 2019)

Exploria Stadium has hosted some of the world’s top soccer competitions since 2020 including: two SheBelieves Cups; the quarterfinal, semifinal and final round of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League; international friendlies for both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams; and a recent World Cup qualifier between Canada and Bermuda.

Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said:

We are, yet again, honoured to be able to host another one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments at Exploria Stadium and to again feature some of the best in the game in Downtown Orlando. After a successful Concacaf Champions League in December, we are excited the confederation has selected our incredible venue for the Gold Cup and that we will be able to showcase more top national teams here in Orlando. This is yet another testament to our community’s love and passion for the Beautiful Game.

World Cup ambitions

Meanwhile, Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup has been boosted by the news that the Texas city will host multiple 2021 Gold Cup Matches at the city’s state-of-the-art BBVA Stadium and NRG Stadium.

Houston is one of only seven metropolitan markets selected to host matches in the 2021 edition of the tournament, with the BBVA Stadium and NRG Stadium two of the 10 host venues. The decision comes on the back of Houston being awarded the right to host the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships, which will be the first time the event has been held in the United States.

The awarding of these two major international events highlights the confidence international sports bodies have in Houston’s sports hosting credentials. Houston has a proven track record in delivering world-class soccer and sport events.

The BBVA Stadium has featured in every edition of the Gold Cup since it began in 2012 and the NRG Stadium has played host to some of the most well-attended matches in the tournament’s history, including a sold-out quarterfinal doubleheader in 2019.

Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee president Chris Canetti, said:

This is great news and I commend Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and all those involved in successfully bringing these fantastic events to our city. Houston is a soccer-loving city with a proud Gold Cup history and I am sure will do a fantastic job in hosting the tournament.

Being awarded Gold Cup matches, alongside the World Table Tennis Championships, is further evidence that Houston has what it takes to host major international sports events. It is a helpful step towards our ultimate objective of becoming a host city for the world’s greatest single sport’s event – the FIFA World Cup. Houston has a proven track record in successfully delivering world-class international sports events and providing the ultimate environment for athletes to perform at their best.

Houston 2026 continues to take steps forward to set itself apart in the field of 17 U.S. cities bidding to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Houston has hosted more large-scale sporting events than any other candidate host city since 2004, including two Super Bowls and two NCAA Final Fours.

FIFA is expected to decide on the 10 U.S. host cities in late-2021 and is currently holding one-on-one discussions with each bid city. Houston 2026 is confident that the city’s tried and tested experience will provide an unmatched player and fan experience and deliver thrilling atmospheres at 2026 FIFA World Cup matches.