Somehow, someway, Qatar has earned the right to host the 2022 World Cup over the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The Qatar bid slid into the favorite role as voting drew near, overtaking both Australia and the U.S. in a three-horse race. When it was announced extra rounds of voting had delayed the decision, it all but spelled doom for the USA bid.
In a bidding process that spanned nearly a year, bidders jockeyed for the right to host both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Yesterday's final bid presentations, highlighted for the United States by Morgan Freeman, Bill Clinton and Landon Donovan, marked the end of the formal bidding process and the beginning of the voting process. 22 members of the FIFA executive committee took part in the voting on Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.
The U.S. bid centered around the growth of soccer in the United States, in addition to an infrastructure that's already in place. The emergence of Major League Soccer, especially here in the Northwest, became a strong selling point to FIFA as the bidding process progressed. Support of soccer was at an all-time high during the 2010 World Cup, with millions around the country gathering to watch the event with friends and family.
For Seattle, the dream is over for now. The Seattle area, spurned on by Sounders' supporters, played a large part in the U.S. bid. The 2022 World Cup offered a chance for Seattle, namely Qwest Field, to become a host site. Instead, FIFA chose the glitz of Qatar's extravagant stadium design concepts over the already-built sites in the U.S.