SoFi Stadium builds soccer credentials with Gold Cup final

Images: Concacaf

SoFi Stadium is set for more top-level soccer action after the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) awarded the final of its 2023 Gold Cup to the home of NFL franchises the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.

The final of the national team tournament, scheduled for July 16, will crown Concacaf’s best men’s national team and conclude two months of elite football in the region that will also include the 2023 Concacaf Champions League final and 2023 Nations League (CNL) finals.

This will be the seventh time the Gold Cup final is disputed in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, and the first in over a decade. The LA Memorial Coliseum hosted four finals (1991, 1996, 1998 and 2000), while Pasadena’s Rose Bowl staged games in 2002 and 2011.

The 2023 Gold Cup final will be the second soccer match held at SoFi Stadium. The venue previously hosted the Leagues Cup Showcase event, featuring LAFC and LA Galaxy of MLS and Mexican Liga MX clubs Chivas and América, in August this year. 

Following in the footsteps of the 2021 Gold Cup, which concluded at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and was the competition’s most successful edition ever, next year’s tournament will continue to include a 12-team Preliminary Round and a 16-team Group Stage. This will be followed by a single match direct elimination Knockout Stage.

“SoFi Stadium is a world class venue and Los Angeles has hosted so many iconic Gold Cup moments, making this stadium a fantastic choice to stage our 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup final,” said Concacaf president, Victor Montagliani. “This competition continues to deliver on and off the pitch, with last year’s expanded edition showcasing outstanding football combined with passionate support from fans from all corners of our wonderful region.
“I am particularly pleased that in addition to announcing such an exciting stadium for our final, we can also confirm that next year’s Gold Cup will continue to feature a Preliminary Round, allowing even more teams to experience the Gold Cup. This provides more access to top level competition for our members and is very much in keeping with our football first philosophy. 
“The 2023 Gold Cup will be the centrepiece of a wonderful summer of Concacaf football which will also include our Nations League Finals and the final of the Concacaf Champions League. These competitions, and the many others we will deliver in 2023, are hugely important for the ongoing development of the game in Concacaf as we seek to harness the momentum and anticipation that is building in our region as we get closer to 2026.”

For SoFi Stadium, the Gold Cup final will be another string to its bow as US venues jockey for position to host games during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA in June decided on the 16 cities that will host the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada, with president Gianni Infantino outlining the goal that by the time of the tournament football will be “the No. 1 sport” across North America.

The announcement concluded a process which first started during the bidding stages for the national team showpiece with 44 cities and 49 stadia across the three countries. The first edition of the World Cup to feature 48 teams will take in 11 US cities and venues. SoFi Stadium and MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, are reportedly the favourites to land the World Cup final.

“The Los Angeles region has a celebrated history of hosting iconic soccer matches, and we look forward to adding to that legacy when we welcome Concacaf’s Gold Cup final to SoFi Stadium on July 16, 2023,” said Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. 

“Over the next few years, SoFi Stadium will be home to some of the world’s biggest soccer matches, and we are excited to host an international audience for the Gold Cup, a premier soccer event in the region.”