Gold Cup by numbers: Expanded Concacaf showcase feeds growing appetite for football

July 19 – Concacaf has released a new set of numbers from the recently completed 2019 Gold Cup that show a host of tournament records being set from attendances to viewing figures.

This was the first Gold Cup to be competed by 16 nations, up from 12 in 2017. It was also the first time the Gold Cup had been played outside North America with match days in Jamaica and Costa Rica.

With group games and quarter finals played as double headers every four days, and with the 17 match days played at 17 different stadia (15 cities), the Gold Cup sets a pace like no other confederation competition.

Takeaways from the playing side of the tournament were the 96 goals scored (there was only one 0-0 draw) and the rise of the Caribbean with two nations qualifying for the tournament for the first time (Bermuda and Guyana) and two others making the semi-finals (Haiti and Jamaica).

Attendance levels across the tournament topped 590,000 in total averaging more than 34,000 per match day. Sell outs were recorded in five venues – Minnesota (Allianz Field), Los Angeles (Banc of California Stadium), Houston (NRG Stadium), Houston (BBVA Stadium) and Chicago (Soldier Field) – with record attendances for a soccer match reported in Charlotte, Denver and Houston.

Those attendances saw more than 116,000 fans participate in the Futbol Fiesta fan zones at the stadia (1 in 5 match attendees), while the Gold Cup Station in Chicago’s Central Station had more than 18,000 registered fan participations in the various activities.

Media drive

Notable throughout the Gold Cup was the level and quality of media engagement across all platforms and how that grew across the tournament.

The Gold Cup final between Mexico and the US had 8.5 million viewers, up 116% on the 2017 final while over the course of the tournament the US saw 58 million viewers tune in. For Fox Sports 1 in the US it was the most watched non-World Cup telecast ever.

Interestingly the broadcast of the final on Univision had more than double the viewership of the Copa America final played on the same day and beat the World Cup 2018 final by a thumping 36% with US Hispanic audiences.

The numbers reflect a major upgrade in broadcast operations by Concacaf with a record investment in production to deliver a higher quality product. It was money well spent.

The matches were broadcast in more than 180 countries in 35 languages. More than 2,000 people were involved in the production that saw more than 433 camera shots used across the tournament.

Digital and social platforms also reflected the growth with 417 million reached on social channels and 17 million interactions.

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