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Toronto hosting FIFA 2007 YWC

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Toronto to host FIFA U20 final in 2007

Canadian Press
1/26/2006 11:25:19 AM
TORONTO (CP) - Citing the prospect for more profit, the Canadian Soccer Association has awarded the showcase final of the 2007 men's FIFA Under-20 World Cup to Toronto over Edmonton.

Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium is three times the size of the 20,000-seat Toronto venue planned for Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario, but the CSA says its figures showed a Toronto final on July 22, 2007, would be more profitable.

''We believe the yield to the association for the final will be in excess of $1 million,'' association COO Kevan Pipe said after a news conference Thursday. ''We don't know if the same analysis could have held at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. We haven't had a history of being able to achieve that ever in the city with so many tickets in a smaller population region.

''And certainly in Toronto there's been multiple, multiple events in the last year and a half, two years, that have had multimillion gates.''

Edmonton drew more than 47,000 to watch Canada take on the U.S. in the final of the inaugural women's world under-19 championship in 2002. But Pipe noted that those tickets were discounted, with a tournament pass costing just $5.

'It was a very inexpensive ticket, but the focus in fact for that event was to put bottoms in seats as opposed to the financial return.''

To meet the $1-million gate projection, the average ticket for the Toronto final would have to cost $50.

There is more of a focus on the bottom line for the 2007 men's under-20 tournament, second only to the World Cup in terms of size among FIFA competitions. The 24-country event has a budget in excess of $30 million with more than 500,000 spectators expected.

''We have to take a much more financial approach to this decision,'' Pipe said.
Toronto will also host the opening game of the tournament.

Other host cities are Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria.

The tournament will kick off July 1, 2007, with Canada playing in Toronto, which will host 13 matches in all. The Canadian team will then fly to Edmonton to play its two remaining first-round games.

Edmonton will host five opening-round matches, plus two round-of-16 games, a quarter-final game and a semifinal game.

And, perhaps in an attempt to take the sting of losing the final to Toronto, Edmonton could be home to the Canadian team deep into the tournament if it keeps winning.
Toronto will also host quarter-final and semifinal games with the other quarter-finals in Montreal and Vancouver.

Ticket prices for the tournament will be released by June 1, after approval from FIFA. The CSA wants to take advantage of the World Cup in Germany this summer to spur sales.

Pipe said there was nothing political about the choice of Toronto, saying the new Tory federal government has already said it will honour prior commitments. The previous Liberal government had committed $27 million to the $62-million Toronto stadium.

''We have no reason to believe that there's any hiccups at all,'' Pipe said.

The stadium site is being prepared for construction, he added.

Pipe also said Montreal and Vancouver are both solidly behind the event, now that the CSA has agreed to take over responsibility for any financial risk for the tournament, rather than leave it to the regional hosts.

''The financial projections for this tournament right now are quite positive, so we believe the risks involved are fairly minimal,'' Pipe said.

A FIFA inspection team will visit all six host cities in early April.

All 52 matches of the tournament will be broadcast, with 180 countries expected to show some of the event. Pipe said organizers hope to have every game available on Canadian TV.

Edmonton will get first crack at seeing the Brazilian under-20 team, which has agreed to play three games against its Canadian counterpart in May. The teams will meet May 19 in Edmonton and May 22 in Victoria with a third game set for Vancouver although no date has been set yet.

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What a joke... how many of these "multimillion dollar gates" were for soccer? Why is this bozo still in charge?!?!?!
 

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