Concacaf showpiece in ‘Death Star’ kitty


Allegiant Stadium to host 2021 Concacaf final Image: Allegiant Stadium

Sports association Concacaf has announced that the Final of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup – the 16th edition of the region’s flagship men’s international competition, has been awarded to Las Vegas (US) and the scintillating Allegiant Stadium, the destination’s newest futuristic stadium.

A news release sent out by Allegiant Stadium stated that the championship match on August 1st – which is a Sunday – will crown the best men’s national team in the Concacaf region in the Sunday showdown. This will be the first time a Gold Cup match will be played in Las Vegas in the event’s 30-year history, making the 2021 soccer showpiece a landmark edition. The final will cap off a great summer of football that will also include the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Finals in June and the Gold Cup Prelims in early July.

The rescheduled 2020 Concacaf Nations League Finals will be the final tournament of the 2019-20 edition of the Concacaf Nations League, the inaugural season of the international football competition involving the men’s national teams of the member-associations of Concacaf. It will be held in June 2021.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) is one of FIFA’s six continental governing bodies for association football.

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

Located adjacent to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip in the United States, Allegiant Stadium is a global events destination and the newest state-of-the-art entertainment venue in Las Vegas. The domed facility serves as the home stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League (NFL), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Rebels college football team. Allegiant Stadium is ideally located for both visitors and locals. The technologically advanced stadium is fully enclosed and climate-controlled with a capacity of up to 65,000.

The news release quoted the Concacaf President and FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani as stating, “At Concacaf we are very excited about this summer’s Gold Cup and we know that Las Vegas and the Allegiant Stadium will provide a great host City and venue for the Final. 2021 is Concacaf’s 60th anniversary year making this edition extra special for players and fans. The federations and their teams are looking forward to this tournament with great anticipation and it is fitting that the regional champion will be crowned in such an outstanding venue and famous City.”

Stated Raiders President Marc Badain, “The Raiders are proud to join Las Vegas in hosting the Final of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup at Allegiant Stadium in August. The Gold Cup stands out among the many world-class events that will be hosted at Allegiant Stadium, and we are excited to bring Concacaf’s signature event to the Sports and Entertainment capital of the world.”

Exulted Steve Hill, CEO/President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, “We’re thrilled that the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is coming to the Sports Capital of the World. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to host an event of this caliber, and with world-class entertainment, dining, outdoor adventure and sports facilities, we’re confident the teams and their fans will find an unforgettable, ‘Only Vegas’ experience.”

The news release further stated that the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will officially kick off with a new Preliminary Round (Prelims) at the 18,000-capacity DRV PNK Stadium in Florida (US), home of Major League Soccer’s (MLS’s) Inter Miami CF, between July 2nd-6th, 2021. In the Prelims, 12 nations who qualified through their Concacaf Nations League performances will compete for the final three spots in the 16-team Gold Cup Group Stage.

The Gold Cup Group Stage will begin on July 10th and will feature 16 national teams – Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao (a Dutch Caribbean island country), El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico (eight-time and defending champion), Panama, Suriname, United States (six-time champion), Qatar (guest nation and current Asian Football Confederation(AFC) champion) and the three Prelims winners.

The groups for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup are as follows:

  • Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, Winner Prelims 9
  • Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, Winner Prelims 7
  • Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, Winner Prelims 8
  • Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada, and Qatar.

The release added that at the end of the Group Stage play, the top two finishers in each group will advance to a knockout stage, which for the first time in Gold Cup history will see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the quarterfinals onwards.

The knockout stage will be played as follows:

  • Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs. Second Place Group A
  • Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs. Second Place Group C
  • Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs. Second Place Group D
  • Quarterfinal #3: Winner Group C vs. Second Place Group B
  • Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs. Winner Quarterfinal #4
  • Semifinal #2: Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs. Winner Quarterfinal #3
  • Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs. Winner Semifinal #2

The news release concluded by stating that additional details regarding the Final, including ticket sales information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

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