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Q2 Stadium, Exploria Stadium become new Gold Cup venues

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has announced the nine US stadia that will host group, quarter-final and semi-final matches in the 2021 Gold Cup, with Austin’s Q2 Stadium and Orlando’s Exploria Stadium first-time venues.

The announcement comes after Allegiant Stadium, home of NFL American football team the Las Vegas Raiders, and DRV PNK Stadium, current home of Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Inter Miami, were this month confirmed as the host venues for the final on August 1 and the prelims from July 2-6. 

The national team tournament is intended to be a key part of CONCACAF’s 60th anniversary celebration and summer of football, which will also include the inaugural Nations League Finals in June. CONCACAF last week named Empower Field at Mile High in Denver as the new host of this event.

The nine stadiums that will host group and knockout stage matches of this year’s Gold Cup are, (previously hosted Gold Cups):

AT&T Stadium, Arlington (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2017)

BBVA Stadium, Houston (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019)

Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City (2011, 2015, 2019)

Cotton Bowl, Dallas (1993)

Exploria Stadium, Orlando (first-time host)

NRG Stadium, Houston (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019)

Q2 Stadium, Austin (first-time host)

State Farm Stadium, Glendale (2009, 2015, 2017, 2019)

Toyota Stadium, Frisco (2015, 2017, and 2019)

The group stage featuring 16 teams will begin on July 10 and will be played in a hub-city format, reducing team travel during COVID-19. For Q2 Stadium, the home of new MLS franchise Austin FC, the Gold Cup will see the city stage its first official international match.

The 20,500-seat stadium will host its first ever match on June 19, when Austin FC plays its home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes. Exploria Stadium will also host its first Gold Cup matches, however CONCACAF tournaments are not new to the 25,500-seat home of MLS side Orlando City SC.

Exploria Stadium served as the venue for the completion of the 2020 Champions League in which seven matches were played and Mexican club Tigres UANL was crowned champion.

CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said: “It is fitting that in our 60th anniversary year we will use a number of stadiums with a rich history of hosting CONCACAF football, while also making history with new venues that will host Gold Cup matches for the very first time.

“I am also extremely pleased that we have enhanced the Gold Cup format so that all the final group stage games will be played simultaneously. This will add to the competitive intensity of the tournament and provide an even more compelling spectacle for fans.

“Alongside the introduction of a first ever Gold Cup Prelims and a new format in the knockout stage this is another example of our football first approach at CONCACAF.”