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Copa America 2024 stadiums: Atlanta and Miami first hosts

CONMEBOL have announced the first two Copa America 2024 stadiums.

The world’s oldest international football tournament returns in 2024, and will be hosted outside South America for just the second time since the inaugural tournament in 1916, as it returns to the United States, which previously hosted the 2016 edition.

It was announced earlier this week that the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will be used for the tournament.

How will Copa America 2024 work?

Since the 1990s, the Copa America has usually been contested by 12 teams: the ten members of CONMEBOL, plus two invited teams – often from the CONCACAF or AFC confederations.

The previous edition, won by Argentina in 2021, was trimmed to ten teams with no one invited from outside South America.

However, the 2024 Copa America will feature 16 teams for just the second time, the other being the 2016 tournament in the USA – the Copa América Centenario.

As always, the ten CONMEBOL members; Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, qualify automatically.

Lionel Messi celebrates Argentina winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in December 2022 | Argentina will be one of the favourites for Copa America 2024 stadiums
World champions Argentina will be one of the favourites for Copa America 2024 | Photo: Joel Marklund/BILDBYRÅN/Icon Sport

The remaining six places will be taken up by CONCACAF members. United States, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama earnt their places by reaching the CONCACAF Nations League A semi-finals. The final two places will be decided in March 2024 when Costa Rica play Honduras and Canada face Trinidad & Tobago in the play-off round.

The 16 qualifiers will be drawn into four groups of four, with the top two in each group advancing to the quarter-finals.

The opening match will take place on Thursday, 20 June 2024, and the final will be played on Sunday, 14 July 2024, the same day as the final of UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany.

Where will Copa America 2024 be played?

We may only be six months away from the start of the event, but the number of stadiums to be used is yet to be announced.

The United States is the sole host for the competition, two years before they co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, of which 11 of the 16 venues are in the States.

Two of those venues were, this week, nominated to host key matches at the 2024 Copa América.

The tournament’s opening match will be played in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, while the final will be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Atlanta United's Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be one of the Copa America 2024 stadiums and will host the opening match.
Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA/Icon Sport

Neither stadium was used for the 2016 Copa América, or indeed any of the CONCACAF Gold Cups that the United States has ever hosted. Giving such prestigious matches to these two stadiums is either a show of faith or a test of their credentials ahead of the World Cup arriving on American shores.

So, what do we know about the two grounds?

Copa America 2024 stadiums

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Capacity: 71,000
Opened: 2017
Cost: US$1.6 billion
Hosted football before: Yes
Main uses: Home of Atlanta United and Atlanta Falcons NFL team
Roof: Yes, retractable
Pitch type: Grass

Most strongly associated with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, the Mercedes-Benz Arena has quickly become a staple of the MLS. 

Playing host to expansion team Atlanta United, who won the MLS Cup in their debut campaign in 2018, and have averaged crowds of around 45,000 in recent seasons.

The eye-catching exterior of the stadium features silver metal and glass triangles that tessellate around to create a jagged and sharp-looking shell, giving the stadium a futuristic feel.

It will certainly provide a striking backdrop as the tournament’s curtain-raiser takes place on June 20, 2024.

The stadium has already played host to international friendlies, the MLS All-Star Game and the 2023 Premier League Summer Series, but most prestigiously, it was selected as the venue for Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami

Location: Miami Gardens, Florida, United States
Capacity: 64,767
Opened: 1987 (renovated 2015)
Cost: US$115 million
Hosted football before: Yes
Main uses: Home of Miami Dolphins NFL team
Roof: Yes
Pitch type: Grass

The Hard Rock Stadium - one of the Copa America 2024 stadiums
Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA/Icon Sport

Unlike the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Hard Rock Stadium, just north of Miami, does not regularly play host to football.

However, since its renovation in the last decade, it has resembled a modern European football stadium, with four distinct stands and a rectangular roof.

It first played host to football in 1994, during the build-up to the World Cup, for which fellow Floridian city Orlando was instead chosen as a host venue.

As well as international friendlies, many top club sides have graced its pitch since the ground was renovated. A full house watched Barcelona beat their Clásico rivals Real Madrid 3-2 in an International Champions Cup match in 2017.

Copa America holders Argentina are familiar with the stadium, having beaten Honduras 3-0 there in September 2022 – the most recent football match it hosted.

A year on from Atlanta, the Hard Rock Stadium was the venue for Super Bowl LIV in 2020. It was the stadium’s sixth time hosting but the first since the renovation

Where else will the 2024 Copa America be played?

Announcements on the other host cities are likely to be made soon.

The 2016 tournament featured ten grounds in ten host cities across all four corners of the United States. With the 2024 edition starting and ending in the country's southeast, the organisers may intend to keep to a smaller geographical area.

Alternatively, they may wish to use World Cup venues as a trial before the 2026 event. That would mean the following stadiums are in the running:

MetLife Stadium – New York/New Jersey

AT&T Stadium – Arlington/Dallas

Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City

NRG Stadium – Houston

SoFi Stadium – Inglewood/Los Angeles

Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia

Lumen Field – Seattle

Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara/San Francisco

Gillette Stadium – Foxborough/Boston

Anthony Tomas

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