Two venues for Copa América: the solution to an economic problem

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Colombia will join Argentina to host the America 2020 Cup, a proposal that would alter much of the dynamics of the tournament

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Gathered in Rio de Janeiro, the Council of Conmebol decided that the Copa América in the year 2020 will be held in Colombia and Argentina. This is the result of the joint application of both countries, competing against the United States, headquarters of this tournament for its centenary Edition.

Leer en español: ¿Dos sedes para la Copa América? La solución a un problema económico

Having two geographically distant locations, the tournament will be divided into two zones: the North, formed by Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru and the area south, formed by Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

However, the first question that arises is: why the Copa America two years in a row? This year the tournament will be held in Brazil, which is a consequence of the series of tournaments in which this country recently hosted, placing it as the greatest bastion of sport in Latin America, without a doubt.

The 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2019 Copa América have all taken place in Brazil. However, by 2020, the tournament will be held again, in a similar way to how it was celebrated two years in a row in 2015 and 2016, due to the extraordinary nature of the one hundred years that this tournament held. The reason now is a synchronization with the other FIFA international tournaments, in such a way that the Copa America is held in even and not odd years, coinciding with tournaments like the Eurocup.

A solution to an economic problem

What is striking now is the fact that two countries are running together as hosts of the tournament, because so far, only countries have been alone who have received the other teams to compete.

This format, which is not unusual in the Euro Cups, or even in the maximum international tournament with its example in the World Cup that took place in Korea and Japan in 2002, responds to very specific economic dynamics: there are very few countries that at this moment they are released to be candidates in solitary, because the tournaments end up being a headache.

Although there are positive examples, such as figures given by the organizers of the Copa Centenario 2016, where revenues reached 500 million dollars, or the sale of tickets for this year's edition that already represent about 60 % of the total tickets, a feat in every rule, to host an event like these is no longer a business. The greatest proof of this is that the United States, having hosted the Centennial Cup, looking to host again in 2020, and having the experience of having organized a World Cup in 1994, its candidacy for the maximum international tournament of 2026 is in together with Mexico and Canada.

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The Huffington Post announced it last year: hosting a World Cup is an economic ruin, and the BBC proposed a solution: the nominations in groups. In its article last year, the BBC predicted that the World Cup in Russia may become the last tournament of this kind organized by a single country, due to the strong economic implications and the few and irregular economic returns represented by the tournament for these countries A physical proof of this are the stadiums that were built in Brazil and Russia for the last two editions of this tournament and which, to this day, are more of an ephemeral memory than an asset of the community.

This forecast, as you can see, is possible to extend to all the competitions of selections, and brings back some approaches of economic and social cooperation that can be beneficial for all. On the one hand, the countries develop strategies to facilitate communication, transport and all the economic factors that move around the tournament.

On the other hand, FIFA as an international entity and its regional subsidiaries are not exposed to the failure of the tournament because of the economic difficulties of one or the other country.

Although it is an experiment that in Latin America has not yet been put to the test, it may be the best economic path for the development of a tournament that, otherwise, would only represent a moment of brilliance in the face of enormous efforts for any community that considers do what.

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle

Translated from "¿Dos sedes para la Copa América? La solución a un problema económico"

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