2026 World Cup

Excitement, Disappointment Follow World Cup Cities Announcement

Cheers and sighs met FIFA's announcement of the 2026 World Cup host cities, Dallas and Houston are among those that will host matches

Both exhilaration and dejection were felt around the country on Thursday as FIFA announced which cities will host matches during the World Cup in 2026.

Both Dallas and Houston were among the 16 North American cities named. Other cities included expected winners Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City and Toronto.

The crowd at a watch party in Washington D.C. was sullen when their city was not among the last of those named. It was just the third instance that a nation's capital had not been selected as a host city. The scene was similar in Denver.

Six cities including D.C and Denver vied for the final spots but were not selected. The others were Edmonton, Alberta, Cincinnati and Nashville.

"We're disappointed. I don't like losing," said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

Nashville's bid centered around Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. The city's bid was complicated when the Titans called for a new stadium publicly earlier in the year due to rising renovation costs.

"Not the news we wanted but on to the next thing," said Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

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Cooper acknowledged "it was quite an elite group of cities they were picking from."

Kansas City was one of the cities on the fringe that ultimately prevailed. The city was among the last of those named. Despite scorching temperatures, hundreds of soccer fans gathered in the Power and Light District and erupted when Kansas City's name was called.

Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt who has been a fervent supporter of the sport for years said the announcement was a culmination of years of hard work by many people.

"Now we have an opportunity to showcase Kansas City on the international stage."

Soccer's governing body will not announce which cities will host knockout games until the conclusion of the World Cup this year in Qatar.

"This is a great opportunity to have this World Cup and have it on center stage right here in Dallas," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at a rally on Thursday.

AT&T Stadium in Arlington is expected to be the site of the matches in North Texas. The Cowboys' home stadium is no stranger to international soccer. The stadium's first sporting event in 2009 was the sold-out Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinal match between Mexico and Haiti. Since then it has hosted other Gold Cup matches and world-famous clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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