North Texas

North Texas Bids for Action in 2026 World Cup

The North American bid beat Morocco's to host the world biggest sporting event

The United States, Canada and Mexico will be home to the 2026 World Cup, following a successful joint bid from North America to host the event.

North Texas was one of the 23 host cities offered in the bid, which means the Dallas-Fort Worth area could play a major role in the biggest sporting event in the world.

The United States would hold 60 of the 80 games, with the rest played in Canada and Mexico.

Dan Hunt, FC Dallas President and Chairman of the Dallas host city bid, said the existing sports facilities in North Texas, access to airports and available hotels make the area an attractive host city candidate.

"I would be shocked if Dallas doesn't wind up with two or three national teams," Hunt said.

While AT&T Stadium in Arlington was pitched as the venue to host matches, Hunt said the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Toyota Stadium in Frisco and MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas could serve as team headquarters and training and practice facilities.

"You're going to have to have a little bit of luck because the media markets in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are big. But from a facilities standpoint, I think we're in good shape to host a final," Hunt said. "And we put together a great bid for this."

Of the North American bid, Hunt said the infrastructure and stability were selling points.

"We don't have to build any new stadiums, we don't have to build new training facilities, we don't have to build new airports. We don't have to force our tax payers to foot the bill," he said. "We're not asking that of the citizens of this country or Mexico or Canada. We're prepared for this and I think it's going to be tremendously successful."

Hunt said North Texas will also bid for the International Broadcast Center. The economic impact, he said, is estimated in the $400 million range, more if Dallas hosts the IBC.

The Dallas and Frisco mayors both expressed excitement when North America was announced as the 2026 World Cup host. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told NBC 5 Dallas is in a great position.

"We certainly will be pushing for Frisco to be a major player in any events that are in this region," Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said. "But we're also going to work as a partner in the region to make it a great experience for everyone."

Hunt said soccer in America has come a long way since Dallas last hosted a World Cup match in 1994, with the region becoming an even bigger sports destination.

"This is Dallas saying, 'For the next 50 years, we want to hold Super Bowls and NCAA championships, we want to host another World Cup,'" Hunt said.

Hunt said a final decision on North American host cities isn't expected until late 2020 or early 2021.

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