U.S., Canadian, Mexican cities lobby to be 2026 World Cup hosts

NBC News | 6/14/2018 | Staff
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Leaders of many of the 20 other proposed cities sang from the same hymnal, certain that their towns would be perfect hosts.

FIFA, the sport's world governing body, indicated that it believes that they're all correct, reporting to voters that all of the proposed cities offer top-of-the-line stadiums, hotels and facilities.

Cutoff - Decision - World - Cup - Round

However, a cutoff decision isn't expected until 2021 and possibly not until after the 2022 World Cup final round in Qatar, U.S. and international soccer authorities said. So until then, the proposed host cities — 17 in the United States and three each in Mexico and Canada — can only sit, wait and argue, argue, argue.

"It's a high-class problem," Carlos Cordeiro, president of U.S. Soccer, the sport's governing body in the United States, said in a conference call with reporters.

Facilities - Stadiums - Iconic - Everything - Cordeiro

"We're blessed with 23 really world-class facilities [and] stadiums, some iconic, some brand-new, cutting-edge and everything in between," Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision that we will all have to make, the three of us in conjunction with FIFA, when we have to determine the final 16."

The competition is fueled in big part by the mammoth success of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, which was the best attended and one of the most profitable ever. The tournament is estimated to have delivered overall profits of $1.45 billion — almost $620 million of that to Los Angeles, where the final was played in nearby Pasadena.

FIFA - Tournament - Soccer - Event - Kind

FIFA has called the 1994 tournament the most successful soccer event of any kind in history. And that was when the tournament featured only 24 teams and 52 matches. The 2026 tournament will feature 48 teams and 80 matches.

"It's going to be a Big Gulp — it'll be supersized," said Roger Bennett, co-host of the "Men in Blazers" soccer podcast and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NBC News
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