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Soccer’s Copa América: Messi, Brazil, USMNT to Share U.S. Stage

The 2024 CONMEBOL Copa América kicks off June 20, with Lionel Messi’s Argentina playing at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

This year’s Copa América tournament will serve a dress rehearsal of sorts for the 2026 World Cup, hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It will also be an opportunity to maintain the sport’s momentum among U.S. soccer fans, following the Argentine superstar’s arrival at MLS’ Inter Miami and Apple TV’s lucrative broadcast deal with MLS.

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“I think there’s just this massive swell of popularity for soccer in the United States, and the Messi effect is very real,” Jason Wagenheim, the U.S. CEO of Footballco, a soccer-focused digital content and media company, said in a video call. “I think to some degree what Lionel Messi has done for American soccer fandom is similar to what Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce did for the recent surge of women watching the NFL.”

Soccer fans aren’t just focused on their teams, either. According to a Footballco survey of 1,000 soccer fans across the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Chile, 92% of fans plan to follow Copa América even after their nation is eliminated, and 90% of U.S. fans are excited that it will take place in their own country.

When Copa América was last held in the U.S. in 2016, 1.5 million people attended matches with an average attendance hovering around 46,000. Television viewership in the U.S. for the tournament exceeded 100 million. The Copa América Final game between Argentina and Chile was watched by a total of 8.7 million viewers in the U.S.

With the opening match now 100 days away, here’s what you need to know about the upcoming tournament.

What’s the schedule for Copa América 2024?

After the first game on June 20, play will continue through the final on July 14. The draw to determine the groups took place on Dec. 7.

What teams are playing in Copa América 2024?

This year’s edition is the biggest one, with 10 CONMEBOL countries and six nations from CONCACAF participating.

Group A consists of Argentina, Peru, Chile and a team to be determined. Group B includes Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela and Jamaica. The U.S., Uruguay, Panama and Bolivia are in Group C, and Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and a team to be determined are in Group D.

Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, along with Costa Rica and Honduras, will play on March 23 to determine the final two qualifiers. One of the teams will face Argentina in the tournament’s opening match.

Argentina, the 2022 World Cup winner, is the defending champion and favorite to win this year’s trophy.

Where will the games be played? 

Copa América matches take place in 14 different venues. The tournament’s opening game will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and the final at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Additionally, games will be played at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas; Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.; NRG Stadium in Houston; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.; SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles; Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas; MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.; Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla.; State Farm Stadium in Phoenix; and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Why is the U.S. hosting Copa América? 

Copa América, which is organized by the South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL, is the oldest soccer tournament in the world, and has primarily been a tournament for South American squads. The only time it has been played outside of South America was in 2016, when a special centennial edition was held in the U.S.

The U.S. will host the 2024 Copa America as part of a collaboration agreement announced in 2023 by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, the federation the U.S. plays in.

Participating in Copa América is a boost for the hosts of the 2026 World Cup. The tournament offers much-needed high-level games for the U.S., Mexico and Canada as their national teams prepare for the World Cup on home soil in two years. Host teams automatically qualify for the World Cup, meaning they don’t have to go through the often-grueling CONCACAF qualifying process. The downside of that: The hosts have fewer opportunities for competitive matches.

The first U.S. group stage game will be on June 23 against Bolivia at 12 p.m. at AT&T Stadium.

Are Copa América 2024 tickets available?

Copa América tickets went on sale on Feb. 28 through CONMEBOL’s website.

So far, only tickets for Argentina’s group stage games in Atlanta and New Jersey have sold out in the primary market. The tickets for these matches are selling as low as $371 and as high as $1,089 in the secondary market.

Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s debut in Dallas are still available. According to AT&T Stadium’s official ticketing platform, SeatGeek, USMNT vs. Bolivia tickets are selling at as low as $60 and as high as $220.

Tickets for the final in Florida will be released at a later date.

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