Concacaf (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) announced Exploria Stadium, the home of Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, as a host venue for the 2021 Gold Cup earlier this afternoon. Exploria Stadium is one of nine stadiums selected to host group and knockout stage matches.
“We are, yet again, honored to be able to host another one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments at Exploria Stadium and to again feature some of the best in the game in Downtown Orlando,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said.
“After a successful Concacaf Champions League in December, we are excited the confederation has selected our incredible venue for the Gold Cup and that we will be able to showcase more top national teams here in Orlando. This is yet another testament to our community’s love and passion for the Beautiful Game.”
“On behalf of our stakeholders within the Greater Orlando sports eco-system, we want to welcome Concacaf back to Orange County and downtown Orlando’s Exploria Stadium for this summer’s Gold Cup competition. We couldn’t be more pleased to add the Gold Cup to our soccer-crazed community’s portfolio of events in what is quickly becoming the ‘Summer of Soccer’ here in Orlando,” said Jason Siegel, President & CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
“Events like the Gold Cup provide the residents of our community and those traveling to our destination a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the beautiful game, and we look forward to welcoming international teams to our region as we continue our pursuit of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
The 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 via the Prelims. The Round One and Two Prelims matchups were drawn on September 10, 2020. They can be seen here.
The group stage featuring 16 national teams will begin on July 10th and will be played in a hub-city format, reducing team travel to prioritize the safety of all involved. The groups for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup were also drawn on September 10th, 2020, and are as follows:
Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar.
For the first time all the Gold Cup’s final group stage matches will be played simultaneously. This is to ensure an even more compelling spectacle as the teams each compete to reach the knockout stage.
The nine stadiums that will host group and knockout stage matches of this year’s edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup are, in alphabetical order by stadium name (previously hosted Gold Cups):
- AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2017)
- BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019)
- Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS (2011, 2015, 2019)
- Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX (1993)
- Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL (first-time host)
- NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019)
- Q2 Stadium, Austin, TX (first-time host)
- State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ (2009, 2015, 2017, 2019)
- Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX (2015, 2017, and 2019)
Concacaf will announce the schedule, ticketing information, and other details in the coming weeks.
Exploria Stadium was opened in March 2017 and is home to Orlando City of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The 25,500 seat soccer-specific stadium is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando and was the first MLS stadium to open with five consecutive victories. Exploria Stadium was 100 percent privately funded at a cost of $155 million.
To date, the stadium has hosted a U.S. Men’s National Team's 2018 World Cup Qualifier, the U.S. Women's National Team in the 2018 & 2020 SheBelieves Cup, as well as the 2017 NWSL Championship, 2017 NCAA Women’s College Cup, 2018 & 2019 MLS Combines, the Florida Cup, the 2019 MLS All-Star Game and the 2019 Cure Bowl - the first non-soccer event at the venue.
Photo Credit: Orlando City Soccer Club