Orlando's Exploria Stadium to Host CONCACAF Action
27 May, 2021
Concacaf has announced the full schedule for the 2021 Gold Cup, the region’s flagship men’s national team competition, including matches hosted at Exploria Stadium. This year’s edition will include a new Preliminary Round (July 2-6) prior to the Group Stage (July 10-20) and a revamped Knockout Stage (July 24 – Aug 1).
This summer’s Gold Cup, the 16th edition of the competition and a key part of Concacaf’s 60th anniversary celebration, will see Exploria Stadium host six matches and join 10 other stadiums across eight US metropolitan areas in hosting the tournament. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will host the competition’s final match on Sunday, August 1.
Exploria Stadium is set to host its first set of 2021 Gold Cup matches on Monday, July 12, with Jamaica taking on Suriname at 6:30 p.m. ET and Costa Rica facing the winner of Preliminary Game Eight at 9 p.m. ET. The home of Orlando City and Orlando Pride will then host the same teams on Friday, July 16, with Jamaica playing the Preliminary Round winner at 6:30 p.m. ET and Costa Rica matching up with Suriname at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The stadium’s final matches of the competition will be played on Tuesday, July 20, hosting the final matches of the Group Stage with Costa Rica vs. Jamaica at 7 p.m. ET and Panama vs. Grenada at 9 p.m. ET.
“We are extremely pleased to confirm the schedule and venues for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup, which promises to be a celebration of football in our great region,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani. “2021 is Concacaf’s 60th anniversary year and we look forward with great anticipation to watching the best men’s national teams in our confederation compete for the Gold Cup title. With an exciting new format and the prospect of welcoming passionate fans to the stadiums for these compelling matchups, I can’t wait for the football to begin on July 2nd and to crown a champion in Las Vegas on August 1st,” added Montagliani.
Tickets for all Group Stage matches will go on sale to the general public on May 20 at 10 a.m. local, via www.GoldCup.org for an exclusive presale opportunity. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to ensure the best seats. To receive information about the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and for an exclusive presale opportunity sign up here.
Prior to the start of the 2021 Gold Cup Group Stage, 12 national teams which qualified through their Concacaf Nations League (CNL) performances, will compete in the Preliminary Round (Prelims) from July 2-6, 2021. These matches will take place at DRV PNK Stadium (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and will determine the final three teams in the Gold Cup Group Stage. The six round one Prelims matches and the three round two Prelims matches were drawn in September 2020 and are available here and below.
The Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will kick off on July 10 and will run through July 20. The 12 qualified nations, the AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar (guest participant) and the three Prelims winners were drawn in September 2020 into four groups and will play as follows (full schedule available below):
Group A - Mexico, El Salvador, Curaçao and Winner Prelims 9
Group A will begin play on July 10, with El Salvador taking on Curaçao at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, before current champion Mexico faces off against Winner Prelims 9 in Arlington’s AT&T Stadium. Group A will remain in North Texas for the duration of the Group Stage.
Group B - USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group B, stationed in Kansas City (Children’s Mercy Park), will take to the field on July 11, with Canada and Martinique facing off in the first match of the day, while six-time champion United States will take on Winner Prelims 7. USA and Canada will remain in Kansas City for the Group Stage, while Martinique and Winner Prelims 7 will travel to Frisco, TX (Toyota Stadium) for the third match date.
Group C - Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Jamaica and Suriname will open Group C play at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium, on July 12. Group seed Costa Rica will take on the remaining team to qualify via the Prelims in the second match of the day. For the last group stage date on July 20, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8 will travel to Houston, TX (BBVA Stadium) while Costa Rica will face Jamaica in Exploria Stadium.
Group D - Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar
Group D, based in Houston, TX (BBVA Stadium), will kick off on July 13 with guest participant and AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar versus Panama in the first match of the evening, before Honduras take on Grenada. On July 20 in Orlando, Grenada and Panama will close Group Stage play while Honduras face Qatar in BBVA Stadium.
Enhancements to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup
For the 2021 Gold Cup, Concacaf introduced a series of football first enhancements to add more anticipation for fans and increase competition between the teams. This included a first-ever Gold Cup draw, which took place in September 2020, the introduction of a Prelims to qualify the final three teams into the group stage and a new format in the knockout stage which means teams on opposite sides of the bracket will meet from the quarterfinals onwards. The 2021 Gold Cup will also include the AFC Champion, Qatar, as a guest participant and it will be the first Gold Cup to use Video Assistant Referees (VAR).