In 2024, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is set to host the opening game of the Copa América, with the final taking place at the Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. This marks only the second time the tournament is held outside of its home continent. The announcement came jointly from the soccer governing bodies of South America and North and Central America and the Caribbean, with details about other hosting sites and the schedule yet to be disclosed.
The tournament, commencing on June 20 at the 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is expected to feature defending champions Argentina, led by Lionel Messi. The retractable-roof stadium in Atlanta, known for its impressive attendance records, will install a grass field over its artificial surface for the event. Meanwhile, the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, boasting a Bermuda grass field and a seating capacity of approximately 65,000, will host the final on July 14.
Notably, if Argentina reaches the championship game, it would provide Messi with an opportunity to play in the same market as his current MLS team, Inter Miami. Both stadiums, selected as venues for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, are anticipated to witness the passion of fans from across the American continent.
Alejandro Dominguez, president of the South American governing body CONMEBOL, expressed expectations for vibrant stadiums during the opening and final ceremonies. Victor Montagliani, president of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football, emphasized the passion of sports and football fans in the selected cities.
The 2024 Copa América sees an expansion, with six teams from North America joining the usual ten nations from South America. This format mirrors a special tournament held in 2016 in the United States to mark the centennial of the event, the only previous occasion when it was staged outside of South America.
The draw for the tournament is scheduled for December 7 in Miami. Both Atlanta and Miami were not involved in the Copa América Centenario held in 2016, which took place at various venues across the United States. Despite the usual rotation among the 10 COMNEBOL nations in South America for hosting duties, security issues led to Ecuador backing out of hosting in 2024.
In addition to hosting Copa América, Atlanta and Miami are strong candidates for the FIFA Club World Cup in 2025. The Club World Cup is set to expand from seven to 32 teams for its 2025 edition, with the sites expected to be announced next year. Teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Seattle, Palmerias, Flamengo, Fluminense, Monterrey, and León have already qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup.