DFW regional leaders spent Sunday rolling out the red carpet for international soccer delegates as part of Dallas' bid to become a FIFA World Cup 2026 host city.
"We believe that North Texas is quite simply the greatest sports market in the country if not in the entire world," said Stephen Jones, chief operating officer/executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. "We boast great teams here, great brands, great sports marketers and believe we could be a great partner for the World Cup as we move forward."
The world-governing body for soccer toured AT&T stadium and learned more from area leaders about why DFW could be a prime location to host the 2026 World Cup games.
This is the second leg of inspection tours of U.S. candidate host cities. Dallas is one of 17 cities now vying to be a host. FIFA will choose 10 U.S. cities in addition to three Canadian and three Mexican cities to host the FIFA World Cup 2026.
Local stakeholders addressed key topics including venue management and sustainability. Organizers say that landing key matches could be game-changing for the region and create an estimated 3,000 new jobs and a $400 million economic impact per match.
"There's so much economic impact and opportunity here for our community, not to mention legacy, international brand exposure, just so many great opportunities," said Monica Paul, executive director of Dallas Sports Commission. "So, we're really passionate. We've hosted a lot of major events, we do them well, we do them big, we set a lot of records, we think we're the perfect partner for FIFA for 2026 and really taking it to the next level."
Several members of the FC Dallas team were on hand to show their support for the bid.
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"Everyone dreams about playing in the World Cup and to have it come to your city is an amazing feeling," said Jesus Ferreira, FC Dallas. "It's one of the biggest sports and events in the world, and to have it in Dallas which is an amazing city it's an amazing feeling."
While AT&T Stadium is the centerpiece of the bid, as many as eight locations exist in the area for national team training centers including the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
The full-scale effort for DFW has been unwavering, with a determination to show the area's commitment and enthusiasm to be a part of the largest single-sport event in the world.
"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a lasting and positive legacy for North Texas through the world's most popular sport - soccer," said Dan Hunt, president of FC Dallas.
The remaining bidding cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will each be visited by FIFA by the end of November, with a thorough assessment and finalization of the selection process by the first or second quarter of 2022.