Foxboro named World Cup site

BOSTON -- The town of Foxboro was named Monday as one of nine locations in the United States that will host 1994 World Cup soccer matches, a decision state officials hope will help boost Massachusetts' ailing economy.

The announcement was made in New York City by the FIFA, international soccer's governing body, and World Cup USA 1994, the local organizers.


The other sites selected were Washington; Los Angeles; Dallas; Pontiac, Mich.; Chicago; East Rutherford, N.J.; San Francisco; Orlando, Fla.

Gov. William Weld, the city of Boston, and Boston Soccer '94 had mounted a 15-month campaign to be named a host for the matches, which are collectively expected to generate absout $100 million in business and attact 140,000 spectators.

Last June, a match between Ireland and USA Soccer attacted 51,000 fans to Foxboro Stadium, which organizers claimed was one of the most- attended soccer matches in U.S. history.

'The World Cup games will provide a strong economic impact and suustained international prestige to Boston and to Massachusetts,' said Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci in a statement.

'We're very pleased that the World Cup organizing committee recognized Massachusetts' ability to support soccer,' he said.


Massachusetts' chances to attract the matches was thrown into doubt earlier this year when the University of Massachusetts announced it was ending its soccer program because of budget problems.

However, the crisis was averted when a private businessman donated enough money to keep the program afloat.

The Silverdome in Pontiac was one of the two domes among the field of 19 finalists bidding for a World Cup venue. This will mark the first time the World Cup has gone indoors. However, in keeping with World Cup tradition, the game will be played on a grass field and not a synthetic surface.

Two of the winning cities had offered more than one stadium. The nod in those cases was given to the Rose Bowl, outside Los Angeles, and Stanford Stadium, outside San Francisco.

The venues for the opening and closing games, as well as all other rounds, will be announced in July.

FIFA and 1994 World Cup USA had said 8 to 12 venues would be selected. Those failing to be named a host were: Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; New Haven, Conn.; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.

Joseph Blatter, FIFA's general secretary, said nine venues will allow for the best exposure of soccer and ease the travel problems for all involved in the World Cup.


'It was the best sporting solution,' he said.

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