U of M to host soccer if Chicago wins 2016 Olympicsby Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota's soccer-supporting community is anxious to hear about the International Olympic Committee's choice for the 2016 summer games.
If Chicago gets the nod, the University of Minnesota has signed a preliminary contract to host some of the early-round soccer games at the new TCF Bank Stadium.
University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi said the stadium was designed to host more than Gopher football.
"We did that consciously. We hoped someday that, we realized that we might have an Olympics," Maturi said. "But whether it be a World Cup competition or even something collegiate, it is built to the custom size of Olympic soccer."
With support from the area's soccer community, Maturi said the Twin Cities would have ample space to host the Olympics.
"It's a few years away and anything can happen but this is known as a very good soccer community and we would have the facilities that would be very amenable to the fans as well as the participants," Maturi said. "We would have availability for fields for the teams to practice prior to."
The IOC makes its choice of a 2016 host city Friday. Chicago is competing with Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro.
- Morning Edition, 10/01/2009, 7:20 a.m.