Dan Hilferty was currently at the center of Philadelphia’s 2026 Globe Cup organizing as the chair of the regional organizing committee. But his current move to come to be Comcast-Spectacor’s new CEO has place him even extra at the center of the action.
Comcast is amongst the most influential sponsors of the regional Globe Cup work, and surely the most popular name. Comcast-Spectacor is just a single branch of the business, whose Television division owns the Spanish-language rights to the 2026 tournament (and this year’s women’s Globe Cup), as effectively as the rights to the English Premier League, Olympics, and U.S. national group household games.
The many branches commonly operate on their personal. But for one thing this huge, there’s overlap behind the scenes.
“We locate synergies and [are] figuring out how we could perform closely with FIFA to increase the fan encounter,” Hilferty stated. “But also, fairly frankly, to make positive that not only our buyers, but Philadelphians in basic have an chance to be element of this wonderful occasion.”
How that plays out will be a single of the greatest regional soccer stories of the subsequent 3 years. There’s currently been a lot of controversy more than plans to develop a sports field complicated in FDR Park that would serve as a Globe Cup practice facility that summer season.
A loud caucus in South Philadelphia is opposed to constructing more than park land identified as the Meadows. A similarly loud caucus has responded by noting the city’s lack of recreational sports facilities. Neighborhood officials have attempted to claim there’s space for each.
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Protesters at a meeting in January about plans to develop a sports field complicated at FDR Park.. … Read moreJessica Griffin / Employees Photographer
Hilferty created no reference to that topic, although that wasn’t as well surprising — it is been handled extra by City Hall. But he has been involved in other regions, like a series of current meetings with FIFA on subjects like hotel capacity.
“They really feel pretty great about exactly where we stand,” Hilferty stated of FIFA. “Not only with the [stadium] website, creating sponsorships, but also organizing about anything from exactly where we’re going to do the fan fest to exactly where we are with all the hotels.”
The fan fest place is a further huge item when it comes to matters beyond the sports complicated, for regional residents and out-of-town guests alike. Penn’s Landing has been the front-runner place for a although, but Hilferty stated there’s nevertheless no choice however.
“That’s a dialogue with the people at FIFA, and at this point we haven’t identified a final website,” he stated.
The subsequent huge issue on the calendar is earning hosting rights for subsequent year’s Copa América, the South American championship tournament that will come to the U.S. as a warmup for 2026. As the 2016 Copa América Centenario did, it is anticipated to drive a spike in interest, and serve as a test run for Globe Cup host venues.
But there’s no assure that it will be played only at Globe Cup web pages. Cities that came up quick in the bidding could get Copa games as a consolation prize, as could huge markets like Phoenix and Chicago that didn’t bid for Globe Cup games at all. So Philadelphia will have to compete.
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Lincoln Economic Field hosted games in the 2016 Copa América Centenario, and could host games when the tournament returns to the United States subsequent year.. … Read moreCal Sport Media by way of AP Pictures
Hilferty stated the Globe Cup organizing committee will not be officially involved in that, but he sent a message to the entities that will take the lead.
“I surely hope the powers that be that are involved, no matter if it be the city, [the] Convention and Guests Bureau, that we have a great shot at it.”
The Eagles will also be substantially involved — and games of the Copa’s scale would undoubtedly be at Lincoln Economic Field. Regardless of whether the U.S. plays right here or not, the crowds will quickly be larger than Subaru Park’s 18,500-seat capacity.
“Our area is household to a significant and passionate soccer neighborhood,” the Eagles stated in a statement. “We will generally be interested in participating in conversations that could lead to bringing globe-class soccer events to Lincoln Economic Field for these fans to appreciate.”
When the Globe Cup committee may possibly not be officially involved in Copa América organizing, Hilferty knows that every person in town shares duty for obtaining marquee events right here ahead of 2026. The Linc hasn’t hosted a huge soccer game due to the fact August 2019, when the U.S. ladies came to town just after the Globe Cup and drew almost 50,000 fans — the greatest crowd for a standalone friendly in group history.
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The U.S. women’s soccer group drew 49,504 fans to Lincoln Economic Field for a game there in 2019.. … Read moreMitchell Leff / Getty Pictures
The pandemic has definitely been a aspect, but 3 and a half years is a lengthy adequate wait. European teams will return to the U.S. for tours this summer season, and there will be the Concacaf men’s Gold Cup.
Nor has the website for the men’s Nations League final 4 been set however. That is the occasion exactly where the U.S. will probably play Europe-primarily based stars such as Medford’s Brenden Aaronson and Downingtown’s Zack Steffen, so they can take the summer season off. They haven’t played at the Linc ahead of, and it is effortless to picture them obtaining a raucous reception.
“If it is international events, if it is regional events like the Unity Cup, to perhaps obtaining some [English Premier League] teams to come and play [here], we’re seeking at all sorts of possibilities,” Hilferty stated. “Obviously the city’s involved, the Convention and Guests Bureau is involved, the Eagles are involved, the Union are involved. So we continue to appear for techniques to develop the game by inviting premier teams to play right here — males and ladies.”
Final week, Hilferty was a single of the guests of honor at the Union’s annual Legends of Soccer fundraiser dinner for the team’s charity foundation. The occasion raised extra than $282,000.
“We’re all pretty proud of the Philadelphia Union, [what] the Philadelphia Union Foundation does for our wonderful neighborhood of Chester and effectively beyond,” he stated.
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Dan Hilferty (left) with Union element-owner Richard Leibovitch on stage at the Union Foundation’s Legends of Soccer Gala dinner.. … Read moreJonathan Tannenwald / Employees