Exploria Stadium to Host Play for CONCACAF Gold Cup
8 Jul, 2021
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.
Exploria Stadium is one of nine stadiums to join the previously announced Allegiant Stadium (Final) and DRV PNK Stadium (Prelims) as the 11 venues that will host 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup matches.
In addition to the Club’s MLS and NWSL matches, Exploria Stadium has hosted some of the world’s top soccer competitions since 2020 including: two SheBelieves Cups; the quarterfinal, semifinal and final round of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League; international friendlies for both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams; and a recent World Cup qualifier between Canada and Bermuda.
“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.”
To officially kick off the 2021 Gold Cup, 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, and are available here.
The group stage featuring 16 national teams will begin on July 10 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 10, 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.
In a significant development to the format, 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.
At the end of Group Stage play, the top two finishers in each group will advance to a knockout stage, which for the first time in Gold Cup history see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the quarterfinals onwards. The knockout stage will be played as follows:
Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs Second Place Group A
Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs Second Place Group C
Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs Second Place Group D
Quarterfinal #3: Winner Group C vs Second Place Group B
Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs Winner Quarterfinal #4
Semifinal #2: Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs Winner Quarterfinal #3
Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner SF #2
CONCACAF will announce the schedule, ticketing information, and other details in the coming weeks.
Matches will be widely available for fans across the region and the world to follow and enjoy through the Confederation’s partner networks, including Fox Sports (USA-English), Univision (USA-Spanish), OneSoccer (Canada-English), Televisa (Mexico-Spanish), Futbol de Primera (USA-Spanish Radio) and other local partners in the Caribbean, Central America and the world.
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)