ESPN Deportes yesterday reported that the strong possibility exists that the Copa América would be played quadrennially in the United States. This would be a huge development, meaning that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF would finally have a regularly scheduled tournament between the Western Hemisphere's two confederations.
According to the report, sources with CONCACAF seem convinced that this is all but a reality, while CONMEBOL would like to wait until the current tournament is over before making a final decision. The report cites a number of factors for wanting to host it in the United States, including "Security, stadiums, communications (access to internet and satellite broadcast facilities)," as well as "flexibility in immigration procedures." Reports from the 2015 Copa América in Chile cited issues with prize money being paid out among other things, and the United States is seen as a more stable alternative.
That's not to say that there won't be issues - the current Copa América has played out in stadiums that for the most part have been at between one-quarter and one-half their capacity. While just under 26,000 tickets were sold for Jamaica-Venezuela (overflowing for most MLS venues), there were more likely 10-12,000 people actually in attendance at Soldier Field - a stadium that holds 61,500. Fans are citing exorbitant ticket prices even for non-marquee matches as a reason they're staying away.
All in all though it could be a boon for the United States and soccer in this country. The Gold Cup has gotten stale - since 1991, only once has it been won by someone other than the US or Mexico (Canada won it back in 2000 if you're wondering), and having it quadrennially opposite of the Copa América might give it some of its luster back. It would also give the United States (as well as Mexico, Jamaica, and other well-rounded CONCACAF nations) the opportunity to play against the best teams in the world instead of repeatedly slaughtering Belize 6-1. This is the only way for the teams in CONCACAF to improve.
What do you think about this proposal? What would make this Copa América format work here in the United States? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below!