Just a few days after publishing the article explaining the US Soccer Federation’s process of determining home games for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, TheCup.us has learned there is a possibility that the system will change next season.
According to sources, there is a proposal on the table that would eliminate the bidding process from the first two rounds of the 2012 US Open Cup and establish a flat hosting fee beginning in Round 3.
This plan is just a proposal and still must be approved by the US Open Cup committee.
The first two rounds, which are reported to take place May 15 and 22 and will feature only lower division clubs, will take into account strict minimum standards for venues where the Open Cup matches will take place. As long as both teams meet those requirements, the teams will take part in a blind draw to determine who will host. Based on an earlier TheCup.us report, the opening round will feature 32 amateur clubs, with the winners moving on to play 16 second and third division professional clubs in Round 2. As usual, the draw for the tournament will be regionally based, to minimize travel.
In addition to the venue standards, the USSF will require after Round 2 a flat fee to be eligible to host. The amount of the fee has not been finalized but is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000. If both teams meet the venue standards, and both pay the hosting fee, then a blind draw will take place.
The procedure will continue until the Semifinals and the Final, where the previous bidding process will remain in effect with the team that bids the most will host the game.
It is also reported that the Semifinal and Final bids must include a 15% cut of the profit earned over the total of $100,000 to USSF.
It remains to be seen if this proposal will be accepted by the US Open Cup committee, but if it is, we will know more in the coming months while the field for the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup continues to take shape.