AUSTIN (KXAN) — It hasn’t even hosted a match and crews are putting the finishing touches on it, but soccer’s regional governing body already wants Q2 Stadium to host matches of its premier tournament.
The new home for Austin FC was selected as one of 11 host sites for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a bi-annual tournament that features top national teams in North and Central America as well as the Caribbean. The tournament begins with a newly-added preliminary round July 2-6 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then the 16-team tournament begins July 10 with the championship match Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.
“It is an honor for Q2 Stadium, in its first year of operations, to be designated as one of the 2021
CONCACAF Gold Cup venues,” Austin FC president Andy Loughnane said. “Austin FC and the
greater Austin region look forward welcoming CONCACAF and qualifying national teams to the world-class Q2 Stadium.”
15 of the confederation’s top teams, plus 2022 World Cup hosts and guest competitor Qatar, make up the official group stage. Twelve teams that qualified through previous CONCACAF play, along with three teams that make it through the preliminary round and Qatar are split into four groups. The groups are:
- Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, Winner of preliminary game No. 9
- Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, Winner of preliminary game No. 7
- Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, Winner of preliminary game No. 8
- Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada, Qatar
It’s unclear at this time what games Q2 Stadium will host. The confederation plans to announce scheduling and other details in the coming weeks. Drew Hays, director of the Austin Sports Commission, emphasizes it’s a big deal the brand new stadium has the opportunity to host during the tournament.
“To host a competition of this caliber is a great honor,” Hays said. “Austin is an event city, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup further elevates our offerings. We are thrilled to welcome fans from North & Central America and to showcase the city during this bi-annual competition.”