The Copa America Centenario is a big deal. No, it's not as big as the World Cup and it won't draw the worldwide TV ratings of Euro 2016, but it's probably the biggest tournament to be played in North America since the 1994 World Cup. The tournament will feature not just the 10 CONMEBOL nations -- who include players like Leo Messi, James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez -- but also the United States, Mexico and four other CONCACAF nations.
That Seattle will likely host three matches is an equally big deal. Such a big deal that some of the regions top politicians made sure to weigh in. None of these people said anything particularly interesting, mind you, but that they felt compelled to comment at all is notable:
HONORABLE CONGRESSMAN JIM MCDERMOTT, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
"I am pleased that Seattle has been selected as one of ten host sites for next summer's 2016 Copa America Centenario. This is a chance for the world to see what I have known for years: that Seattle is a world class soccer city. Copa America Centenario is sure to be one of the premier soccer tournaments in the world and Seattle is looking forward to the opportunity to host some of the great soccer teams, players and fans in the world. "
HONORABLE CONGRESSMAN ADAM SMITH, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
"The Seattle area has a longstanding tradition of soccer ingrained into its culture. The diverse communities that live in our region represent a wide array of soccer loving countries from around the world. As a member of the official Seattle Copa American 2016 Host Bid Committee and an avid soccer fan, I am excited that Seattle will serve as a host city for the Copa America Centenario, the oldest national team tournament in existence. This historic event taking place in June 2016 will feature some of the most elite players and best teams in the world. Seattle looks forward to participating in the thrilling event with our passion for soccer and we hope to see our national team build on its success in the last World Cup!"
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE DOW CONSTANTINE
"I was proud to be an early bid supporter, and I am delighted Seattle and King County will join others to host this historic event, marking the first time in its 100-year history this landmark tournament has been played outside South America. The success of our Seattle Sounders and Seattle Reign, and the passionate enthusiasm of fans at CenturyLink Field, has lifted us into the top tier of U.S. soccer regions."
CITY OF SEATTLE MAYOR ED MURRAY
"Seattle is honored to be one of the ten cities selected to host the Copa America, the first time the tournament will be played outside of South America. Seattle is a world-class city and home to the most enthusiastic soccer fans in the United States. We are excited to show fans from all over the globe what our beautiful city has to offer as they watch one of the most prestigious international tournaments."
SEATTLE SPORTS COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RALPH MORTON
"Soccer is an important part of our culture in Seattle, where our passion for the sport is authentic and runs deep. Hosting the 2016 Copa America is an incredible opportunity for our region to watch some of the world's best players in one of our nation's finest venues. There's no better place to celebrate Copa America's 100th anniversary than in Seattle."