Yesterday I was joined by representatives of the local tourism and sporting industries to announce some exciting news: that San Diego is bidding to host one of the world’s largest and most prestigious sporting events – the World Cup.
As you may know, the sport of soccer enjoys tremendous popularity throughout San Diego. Nearly 72,000 kids and adults alike play in soccer leagues throughout the County. In neighboring Mexico, soccer is regarded as one of the most popular recreational sports in the country.
Several nations are currently bidding to become the host nation for the 2018 or 2022 games. They include England, Russia, Indonesia, Australia and the United States.
If the United States is chosen, 18 American cities will be selected to host 4 to 6 games over a two-week period.
We want San Diego to be one of them.
The economic impact that the World Cup games generates cannot be overstated.
Hosting an event of this magnitude means 5,000-8,000 local jobs, potentially $350-$500 million in tourism revenue and a national economic impact of over $6 billion.
The World Cup would also guarantee world-wide visibility for San Diego. Televised in 214 countries, television viewership exceeds all other sporting events -- including the Olympic Games.
There is no better way to showcase our City than on a stage such as this.
But, bringing the World Cup here requires your help.
In addition to approval by the City Council, which is expected tomorrow afternoon, San Diegans are being asked to sign an online petition – a critical piece of the bidding process. The goal is 50,000 signatures.