by Michael Lowrey
Forbes has an article out saying that “Copa America could be biggest sporting event in U.S. this summer.” They may well be correct:
The Copa America Centenario, also referred to as the Centennial Copa America, is coming to ten cities in the U.S. in Summer 2016. It will likely include soccer stars that only need single name identifiers — Messi, Neymar, Suarez and others.
There is a strong chance that you know nothing about Copa America to date. However, it is as close to a World Cup as you can get in international football.
Is Charlotte among the 10 cities hosting games? No. And that’s kind of a problem, as one of the conditions of Charlotte throwing money at the Carolina Panthers for upgrades to privately-owned Bank of America Stadium is that the city gets to use the facility rent-free a couple of times a year for other events like, well, major soccer matches. Indeed, the city publicly stated last year that having two international soccer games at Bank of America Stadium a year every year for the next 10 years was a goal.