World Cup

World Cup Final in North Texas? It May Be Close to Reality, Says FC Dallas President

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Dan Hunt, President of FC Dallas and Chairman of Dallas’ host city bid for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, knows a thing or two about World Cups.

Hunt has been to 10 in his lifetime and nine World Cup finals. He’s hoping the next final he sees, after the one in Qatar between Argentina and France, will be in North Texas.

“There are so many people involved in this,” Hunt said. “We have been working so hard and long for this. The [Jerry] Jones family has also been instrumental in helping. We know for sure we will have four games during that tournament, but right now we are working to secure possibly the semi-finals or the finals.”

Dan Hunt
Dan Hunt and friends at a stadium in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup

Hunt has been in Qatar for this World Cup, not just as a spectator, but on a mission. He said it’s more than just what people will see on the pitch. He wants North Texas to be the destination for behind-the-scenes work as well.

“We are trying to bring the International Broadcast Center back to Fair Park. We had it in 1994 for the World Cup and we are diligently working to bring that back. We are also working to bring FIFA’s headquarters to Downtown Dallas and we would love to have the referee headquarters too,” Hunt said.

Dan Hunt
Dan Hunt at International Broadcast Center in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup

His lofty goals are backed by his experience, dating back to his father, Lamar Hunt. The senior Hunt was known for his sports savvy. His lengthy resume in the sports world includes the creation of the American Football League (AFL), which he would later merge with the NFL. He even coined the phrase “Super Bowl” and at one point was a partial owner of the Chicago Bulls when Hall of Famer Michael Jordan was on the team.

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“My father is really the one who laid the groundwork for all of this. He was the true visionary. He saw the 1966 World Cup Final and he thought that this was a wonderful family sport with passionate fans. Truthfully, he was about 45 to 50 years early on how mainstream soccer has become,” Hunt said.

What his father dreamed for the sport half a century ago is what his son said is happening right now.

“This is a quintessential moment. This is the first time that the World Cup will be held in three countries. Mexico, Canada and of course the United States. North Texas is right in the middle of both of those. We are making our case to the committee right now that we would be the perfect site for the semifinals and finals. We want these national teams to pick DFW as their home training facilities and venues. We’re right in the middle of it all. We have two great airports, we have the infrastructure, we have the hotels, we have AT&T Stadium. We have what it will take to host what I call ‘the Super Bowl on steroids.’ This would just be such a big honor.”

He talked about the growing interest in the sport and how soccer is no longer the underdog in the U.S., but rather a sport that kids are actually choosing to play over others.

“It used to be kids wanted football, baseball and basketball. That is changing. After we host this international event, there will be even more. There will be kids here locally who will pick up the sport because of what they see in 2026 right in their own backyard. We want to be part of that,” Hunt said.

Hunt said FIFA has told his group there should be an announcement by the third or fourth quarter of 2023.

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