The Gold Cup final is headed back to the Windy City.
Concacaf announced on Thursday that the championship match of the 2019 Gold Cup has been awarded to the city of Chicago and its historic Soldier Field, and will take place on Sunday, July 7.
It’s the third time Soldier Field has hosted the tournament’s showcase game, following in the footsteps of 2007 (a 2-1 win for the US men's national team over Mexico) and 2013 (a 1-0 US win over Panama). This news also means that the lakefront venue will set a new record for a single venue with the most all-time Gold Cup appearances with six, having already hosted games in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
“Concacaf is very excited to bring once more our premier tournament to Chicago. This is truly a remarkable city that welcomes and unites fans from across the region, who share the love for our game,” said Concacaf president Victor Montagliani in a release. “Celebrating the final of this expanded edition of Gold Cup at Soldier Field, honors the tradition of a world-class competition that is embedded in the culture of our football fans.”
The home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Soldier Field has hosted a litany of major soccer events over the decades, including the 1994 and 1999 FIFA World Cups, the 2016 Copa America Centenario and the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target against Real Madrid.
The biggest international tournament in the North American region, the Gold Cup will feature an expanded field in 2019, with 16 participating teams as well as venues in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean.
Thus far six of the 16 participants have qualified for next year’s tournament: the countries who participated in the Hexagonal round of 2018 Concacaf World Cup qualifying: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States. The additional participating nations in the 2019 Gold Cup will qualify through Concacaf Nations League qualifiers, which are being played during the FIFA match day windows in September, October and November of 2018 and March of 2019.