In less than a month, soccer’s World Cup kicks off in South Africa. Sixteen years ago, Los Angeles played host to the world’s most famous sporting event. The city wants another shot, and it’s packed the United States bid committee with some big-name Angelenos.
Officially, 18 U.S. cities want the World Cup. But most of those on the USA Bid Committee are Southern Californians.
Former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger, and one Arnold Schwarzenegger of Brentwood are on the list. So are Univision CEO Joe Uva and women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm, who hosts an annual soccer fundraiser in L.A. every year. L.A. media tycoon Casey Wasserman, L.A. Galaxy star Landon Donovan and his boss Philip Anschultz, who also owns Staples Center and the Home Depot Center, will also make the pitch for L.A. in 2018 or 2022.
The honorary chair is former President Bill Clinton. While he’s not an Angeleno, he did visit California 70 times when he occupied the White House.
The USA Bid Committee’s pitch is that soccer really is an American sport. Or as members put it: “The game is in us.”