AUSTIN, Texas — It's not quite finished yet but it's already getting some pretty major accolades!
On Thursday, Austin FC announced that its Q2 Stadium has been confirmed as a 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup venue. The $260 million stadium joins a list of 10 others selected for the tournament, which takes place in July and August.
This year's cup will feature 16 national teams, 12 of which have qualified via the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League, including the six-time champion U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) and eight-time champion Mexican Men’s National Team. These teams will be joined by the 2019 AFC Asian Cup champions and 2022 FIFA World Cup host, Qatar, and three more teams qualifying through the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims, a qualification round taking place July 2 through 6.
“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,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “Austin FC and the greater Austin region look forward welcoming Concacaf and qualifying national teams to the world-class Q2 Stadium.”
The 2021 Gold Cup will kick off with a new preliminary round at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Twelve nations who qualified through their Concacaf Nations League showings will compete for the final three places in the 16-team Gold Cup Group Stage. The round one and two preliminary matchups were drawn on Sept. 10.
The group stage, which features 16 national teams, will begin on July 10 and will be played in a hub-city format, reducing team travel for safety reasons. The groups for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup were also drawn on Sept. 10:
- Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
- Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
- Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
- Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar
For the first time, all of the Gold Cup's final group stage matches will be played concurrently, promising to become a thrilling event as each team competes to reach the knockout stage. At the end of Group Stage play, the top two finishers in each group will move on to the knockouts, which for the first time in Gold Cup history see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the quarterfinals onwards.
The knockout stage will be played as follows:
- Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs Second Place Group A
- Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs Second Place Group C
- Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs Second Place Group D
- Quarterfinal #3:Winner Group C vs Second Place Group B
- Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs Winner Quarterfinal #4
- Semifinal #2:Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs Winner Quarterfinal #3
- Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner Semifinal #2
“To host a competition of this caliber is a great honor,” said Drew Hays, director of the Austin Sports Commission. “Austin is an event city, and the Concacaf Gold Cup further elevates our offerings. We are thrilled to welcome fans from North and Central America and to showcase the city during this bi-annual competition.”
Scheduling and ticketing information will be announced soon. For more information, click here.
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