New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium will play host to the final of next year’s Copa America Centenario tournament in the United States, it has been announced, after tournament organisers confirmed the schedule for the historic edition of the competition.
The stadium is the current home of National Football League (NFL) sides the New York Jets and New York Giants and was the venue for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Santa Clara and Seattle will also stage matches.
The MetLife Stadium will host a quarter-final contest along with CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California and the Gillette Stadium in Boston.
Semi-finals will be held at the NRG Stadium in Houston and Soldier Field in Chicago before the final takes place on June 26.
Organisers of the 100th anniversary event, which will be the first to ever be held outside of South America, also confirmed Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the hosts as the top seeds in each of the four groups.
The United States were placed in Group A, while Argentina have been drawn as the top seed in Group D as the highest-ranked team in the Americas.
Five-times World Cup winners Brazil have been allocated into Group B and Mexico will compete in Group C “in celebration of the rich soccer tradition in the hemisphere and as the most decorated nations in the last 100 years in international competitions from their respective confederations”, according to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
The draw for the remaining 12 teams will take place early next year based on this month’s FIFA rankings.
The Championships usually take place every four-years, with Chile triumphing on home soil earlier this year, but the Centenario will be held next year as a special one-off tournament.
The United States was chosen to host the competition in October after 24 cities had submitted bids to stage matches.
“Obviously, the big picture is always the World Cup 2018 in Russia, but a Copa America is something special so there will be packed stadiums, a lot of fans from all over the place and many exciting games to watch,” United States head coach Jürgen Klinsmann said.
“So we are thrilled.”
The move from both CONCACAF and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) to end their relationship with Argentine sports marketing agency Datisa, who had been the subject of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) into widespread corruption in football, had removed a key obstacle to the US staging the tournament.
Former CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout recently resigned from his position after he was arrested ahead of the FIFA Executive Committee meeting earlier this month along with CONCACAF chief Alfredo Hawit.
The pair were two of 16 FIFA officials to be named in a DOJ indictment.