Mexican national team won’t play qualifier in Valley
Mexico will not play a World Cup Qualifier against Guyana in Phoenix, despite multiple reports and a news release from the Mexican Football Federation confirming the match would be played in the Valley of the Sun.
“At present, the information that we have is the game will be in Houston, Texas,” said Noel Adonis, general secretary of the Guyana Football Federation.
With the qualifier rendered largely irrelevant after Mexico secured advancement to the final stage of CONCACAF qualification last match day and with Guyana all but eliminated, the GFF elected to sell the rights to host the match, rather than host it at Providence Stadium. That stadium, the team’s normal home located just south of the capital city of Georgetown, has a capacity of 15,000, but it didn’t sell out any previous World Cup qualifiers.
Adonis told AZKicksIt the current plan is to play the game at BBVA Compass Stadium, the new downtown Houston stadium which houses the Dynamo of MLS. BBVA Compass, along with University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the Sun Bowl in El Paso and a venue in San Antonio were among those considered. BBVA Compass Stadium can hold more than 22,000 fans. It’s not the first time a smaller federation has elected to move a qualifier in hopes of reaping financial rewards. Belize moved a match against Mexico to Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2008.
News of the match being played in Houston confirms an earlier report from Odeen Domingo of the Arizona Republic, who cited Scott Norton, University of Phoenix Stadium Director of Marketing and PR, as saying, “there was speculation that event would occur at our venue; that is not the case. But we continue to work on major international soccer events.” Some speculation remained that Chase Field or another Valley venue would host the match, but for now the region will have to keep waiting to placate its appetite for international soccer.