Miami gets the final for 2024 Copa America
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta was awarded the 2024 Copa America opener and South Florida’s Hard Rock Stadium will host the final of the tournament, held outside of its home continent for only the second time
A joint announcement was made on Monday by soccer’s governing bodies of South America and of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Other sites and the schedule for the 16-team tournament were not revealed.
The tournament is set to begin on June 20 at 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United has set numerous attendance records. Defending Copa America champion Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, will presumably be one of the teams taking part in the opener.
The retractable-roof stadium near downtown Atlanta, which opened in 2017, will install a grass field over its artificial playing surface for the tournament.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens already has a Bermuda grass field and seats about 65,000 after a $500-million renovation that included installation of a roof above seating areas. The 36-year-old home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins will host the July 14 final.
If Argentina advances to the championship game, it would give Messi a chance to play in the same market as his current MLS team, Inter Miami.
“We expect stadiums filled with the passion of the entire American continent for the inauguration and the final,” Alejandro Dominguez, president of the South American governing body CONMEBOL, said in a statement.
Both stadiums have been selected as sites for the 2026 World Cup, to be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“The cities have passionate sports and football fans renowned for getting behind major events,” Victor Montagliani, president of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football, said in a statement.
Copa America is expanding this season, with six teams from North America joining the usual 10 nations from South America that compete for the continental championship. It mirrors a special tournament that was held in 2016 in the United States to mark the centennial of the event – the only previous time it was staged outside of South America.
The draw will be December 7 in Miami.
Both of those stadiums have been selected as 2026 World Cup sites, along with Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, NRG Stadium and CenturyLink Stadium, making them strong candidates to also host Copa América games. The other US World Cup sites are AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Except for the Centenario tournament, Copa America hosting duties usually have rotated among the 10 COMNEBOL nations in South America. The arrangement called for Ecuador to host in 2024, but that country backed out because of security issues.
All 10 South American national teams compete in the quadrennial tournament, and two guest teams have been invited to most of the tournaments since 1993.
For the 2024 edition, the CONMEBOL regulars will be joined by six Concacaf qualifiers, comprised of the four quarterfinal winners in the Nations League and two play-in teams from the quarterfinal losers.