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Copa America May Be Headed to Soldier Field, Would Bump Spring Awakening

By David Matthews | September 21, 2015 3:00pm
 A scene from a 1997 Copa America match between Ecuador and Mexico in Bolivia.
A scene from a 1997 Copa America match between Ecuador and Mexico in Bolivia.
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Mark Thompson/Allsport

SOLDIER FIELD — Soldier Field is vying for a contract to host matches for next summer's Copa América soccer tournament, a plan that would leave the Spring Awakening music festival looking for a new venue.

"We haven't finalized a contract with [Copa América], but at the same time it's very likely," said Luca Serra, a spokesman for Soldier Field.

Serra confirmed to DNAinfo Chicago on Monday that the stadium hopes to be one of between "11 and 13" markets that will host the Copa América when it arrives stateside next June. The tournament, the world's oldest continental soccer tournament, is historically played between South American international teams, but next year will include the United States and five other North American teams.

Soldier Field would host three or four matches during the month-long tournament, Serra said.

A contract to host the tournament has not yet been finalized, but Serra said Soldier Field has given Spring Awakening, a June festival which has been held in Soldier Field the past four years, advance notice to start looking for a new venue next summer.

"As a courtesy to them, we gave them much more advanced notice to start looking around and start having conversations with other venues," Serra said.

It's possible that the contract with Copa América will fall through and Spring Awakening will return to Soldier Field next summer. Representatives of Chicago-based React Presents, which promotes Spring Awakening and other festivals, did not immediately return a message. 

"From the standpoint of losing music, that would be disappointing, but from a financial standpoint we would be much ahead we’ll say with [Copa América]," Serra said.

"We just didn’t want Spring Awakening and React folks to be left in limbo while this shakes out."

Spring Awakening 2014. [Facebook]

More than 40,000 people attended each day of Spring Awakening, a three-day electronic music festival, this year, Serra said. The audience has grown annually. 

A spokesman for the Chicago-based U.S. Soccer Federation, which is working on bringing Copa América to the states next summer, did not immediately return a message. 

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