The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has announced Empower Field at Mile High in Denver as the new host of its inaugural Nations League Finals, while Seville’s Estadio de la Cartuja is being lined up as an alternative Spanish venue for UEFA Euro 2020.

The home of NFL American football team the Denver Broncos will host the Nations League Finals from June 3-6. The national team event was originally due to be played in Houston and Arlington, Texas, on June 4-7 last year, only for the event to be postponed due to COVID-19.

The 2021 CNL Finals are intended to kick off a summer of football in CONCACAF’s 60th anniversary year. The Finals will be followed by the Gold Cup, to which CONCACAF awarded hosting rights for the final to Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, earlier this week.

The semi-finals, third place match and final, all to be played at Empower Field at Mile High, will initially see Honduras vs United States followed by Mexico vs Costa Rica. Denver and Empower Field at Mile High have hosted a number of high-profile football events in the past, including matches at three Gold Cups (2013, 2017 and 2019). 

Empower Field at Mile High Stadium general manager, Jay Roberts, said. “Opening our doors for the first large scale event since the end of the 2019 football season is exciting for our organisation as well as the entire community. This June, we look forward to providing an enjoyable, safe experience for fans and showcasing why Denver is a premier destination for world-class soccer.”

In other news, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has offered Seville as an alternative to Bilbao as its host city for the postponed Euro 2020. Bilbao was one of four host cities granted extra time by UEFA last week to provide additional information of their plans for Euro 2020 and give assurances fans would be able to attend.

Estadio de la Cartuja hosted the 2019-20 Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad on April 3, which had been delayed due to COVID-19, and is due to stage this season’s final between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona tomorrow (Saturday). The Estadio de la Cartuja was awarded hosting rights for the Copa del Rey final as part of a four-year deal signed with the RFEF in February 2020.

“With all my respect for what Bilbao has done, it is facing many difficulties and it would be terrible for another country to get the host city,” Rubiales said today (Friday), according to the Associated Press news agency. “La Cartuja would be a magnificent site… and the first option if Bilbao is finally discarded.”

The RFEF said that it would be down to regional authorities in Andalusia to determine whether fans could be allowed into games in Seville. Bilbao’s San Mamés stadium is due to host three group games, plus a Round of 16 encounter, and a Basque Country region spokesman said the local government has “not received any direct notification from UEFA” of a change of plans. Regional official Bingen Zupiria added: “If they changed their opinion, and we have to see if they do, then they would inform us. And if they did, they would have to give us an explanation.”

Earlier this week, Rome confirmed it will be able to host the opening ceremony and first match of Euro 2020 after Italian authorities agreed to a plan that would allow at least 18,000 fans to attend games at the Stadio Olimpico.

Image: CONCACAF