Philly in the mix to host World Cup

World Cup fever may be coming to Philadelphia. At least that’s what Mayor Michael Nutter hopes.

Nutter and Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell were announced as the honorary chairs of Philadelphia’s bid to be one of the host cities for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup finals.

They are one of 27 finalist cities hoping to survive to the final 18 up for consideration when the USA Bid Committee presents its bid in the spring. The winning nations for both events will be announced in December 2010.

“It’s the perfect alignment for us to make a bid,” Nutter said. “We have the new facility, the new team, and a great city. What could be better?”

The press conference at City Hall, which included Eagles’ President Joe Banner, Philadelphia Sports Congressman David Montgomery, and Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, also commemorated the launch of an online petition where prospective host cities fight it out for votes.

After his speech, Nutter used his phone to cast his vote, and encourage those in attendance to “make it a part of your daily routine.”

Hosting a World Cup, the most popular sporting event in the world, would generate some $500 million dollars in revenue and draw world-class soccer for the next decade.

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