Sources: Alterations proposed for 2012 US Open Cup bid process

Posted by | January 5, 2012

NY Pancyprian Freedoms battle FC New York in a Second Round match in 2011 at Belson Stadium (St. John's University). According to sources, in the first two rounds, if both teams have a venue that meets USSF standards, a blind draw will determine the host.

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, 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 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.


  • Jay Walk says:

    Wait, if both teams pay, they get the pleasure of a blind draw? Seems like a win-win for USOC, but have to suck for the lower division teams. $15k for them I would think hurts them more than for an MLS team.

    • Josh Hakala says:

      From what I understand, only the winner will have to pay the $15K. Much like the current bidding process, where each team cuts a check and the winner gets the check cashed by USSF and the loser gets their check sent back to them.

  • Aaron says:

    What the USSF should do is build a national stadium so then the final would be held there every year and then there was no dispute of bidding for a final.

    • Josh Hakala says:

      I say this a lot but the idea of a national stadium is a nice IDEA. But it wouldn’t work. Let’s say you make the national stadium in kansas city (a nice central location as some have suggested), how many fans would make the trip on a weekday (or even if it was somehow moved to a weekend) if the two teams in the final were New England and Los Angeles? How many KC fans would care enough to see NE and LA battle for a cup? It would be nice to have a neutral site, or maybe a 2-leg final (in the interest of fairness) but I don’t think it’s very realistic right now.

  • Barca Junior says:

    @Aaron: If you do that you minimize the number of attendance. It’s hard enough for people to come out to an Open Cup game alone. The bidding ensures there will be a decent crowd in the stands. Perhaps in the future when packed crowds are at every game, then it might work.

  • ERic says:

    A national stadium is a nice idea when most of your top league’s teams are in the capital, and your country is the size of Texas (at the most). Utterly unrealistic with a country the size of the US. And that’s completely ignoring the fact that the USSF has a hard enough time losing the million or so that they were losing on the Open Cup that there’s no way they could afford to come up with the hundred million (minimum) needed to build a good national stadium.

    • Josh Hakala says:

      For those who want the US Open Cup to be exactly like the FA Cup (which I don’t think is completely necessary), aside from funding … travel is the biggest obstacle in making that happen.

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