Apparently, the host city for the four-team 2021 Concacaf Nation League finals is not set in stone. According to Washington Post’s Steven Goff, Denver’s NFL Empower Field may host June’s first-ever finals.
Where will rescheduled Concacaf Nations League finals June 3-6 for USMNT, MEX, CRC & HON take place? Latest front-runner, I'm told: Denver (NFL stadium).— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) March 1, 2021
Odd to consider playing at altitude.
Also mentioned: Austin or Chicago.
Pre-covid postponement: Houston/Dallas.
A year ago, Concacaf officials announced that Houston and Dallas would play host to the inaugural finals in June of 2020. The semi-final games would be played at the home of the Houston Dynamo in BBVA Stadium and NRG Stadium, home to the NFL’s Houston Texans. The third-place game and Final were to play in AT&T Stadium located in Arlington.
In the media statement that accompanied the announcement, Houston was selected for its remarkable diverse make-up, including fans from the four competing nations, plus two “world-class stadiums.” Arlington would open up AT&T Stadium, a domed 80,000-seat venue that is home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Numerous Mexican national team matches have been played here, as have four Gold Cup tournaments.
Then the pandemic set in and the June matches were postponed indefinitely. In September, Concacaf put forth another announcement, saying “this official competition Finals event will take place in a centralized location in the United States in June 2021. Concacaf will now work with our stakeholders to finalize the location and specific dates for this competition.”
With June being just three months away, Concacaf and its stakeholders must be getting very close to selecting the 2021 host city.
Should Denver be selected, it would be a major coup for the Mile High City as it is vying to be a host for the 2026 World Cup. FIFA is expected to announce the 10 host cities by the end of 2021.
The last time an international match was played in Denver was 2019
The Concacaf Gold Cup games in the summer of 2019 brought more than 52,000 soccer fans to then Broncos Stadium at Mile High for a ‘doubleheader’ that featured Cuba vs. Martinique and Mexico vs. Canada.
The Nations League championship event will bring together senior men’s national teams from the United States, Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica. With both El Tri and the Yanks being the hands-on favorites to dominate the Nations League Finals play, the rivals could find themselves facing off in the championship match at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.
If Denver is so fortunate to host the finals, the next question is: How many fans will be permitted to watch in person?