Charlotte to host two Copa America matches summer 2024
A major soccer tournament is coming to Charlotte this summer.
Driving the news: Bank of America Stadium will host two CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 matches, CONMEBOL announced Monday.
- Charlotte will host a semifinal match on July 10 and the third-place match on July 13.
Why it matters: This tournament will be somewhat like when Lionel Messi came to Charlotte — but on an even larger scale. That recent October night drew 66,101 fans to Bank of America Stadium to watch Messi and Inter Miami. Charlotte FC clinched a playoff spot for the first time that night, and fans had their Messi moment.
- Plus, this will be the first time Charlotte is hosting Copa America.
Details: Copa America is South America’s championship, meaning nations like Brazil and Argentina play each other. This is a special edition of the tournament, in which CONMEBOL [the governing body of South American soccer] and Concacaf [the confederation the United States is in] will co-organize the tournament.
- There will be 10 CONMEBOL teams and six Concacaf guest teams.
- The tournament will include 32 matches during June and July.
- Other host cities include Orlando, Miami, Houston, Austin, Las Vegas, to name a few.
By the numbers: Event organizers expect the tournament to bring 150,000 people to Uptown. People from 31 countries, all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have traveled to Bank of America Stadium for soccer, per Tepper Sports and Entertainment, which owns Charlotte FC.
What they’re saying: “It speaks volumes about our city, our fanbase and the greater Carolinas community that CONMEBOL chose our home as the site of two monumental matches in the international game,” Charlotte FC president Joe LaBue said in a statement.
The intrigue: The matches will be played on grass. Bank of America Stadium was converted to turf ahead of Charlotte FC’s inaugural season to accommodate more events. Natural grass was also brought in last summer for the Concacaf Gold Cup and in 2021, when Charlotte FC hosted English team Chelsea. An artificial surface is easier to maintain, but players aren’t too fond of it.
What’s next: A group draw will take place on Dec. 7 in Miami to determine which teams will face each other in the first round. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage. Teams will be selected from the following pots.
Pot A: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, United States
Pot B: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay
Pot C: Chile, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela
Pot D: Bolivia, Jamaica, Concacaf play-in winner [Canada vs. Trinidad and Tobago], Concacaf play-in winner [Costa Rica vs. Honduras]
- The play-in will take place on March 23.
Of note: The tournament itself is likely to feature star power like Messi, but the local presence will depend on the upcoming draw.
- Ticket information will become available as the tournament approaches.
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