In case you haven’t heard yet, FIFA announced this morning that the 2026 World Cup will be held in North America. The United Bid Committee, consisting of representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, should be commended for their proposal and hard work in bringing the World Cup back to North American soil for the first time since 1994.
The Colorado Rapids, along with the Stadium Management Company and Denver Sports Commission, issued this statement in response to the announcement:
Today is a big day! We are pleased The United Bid Committee (UBC) has been awarded hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The UBC should be congratulated on all the hard work done to get to this point. This announcement marks the beginning of a lengthy process to determine what cities will host games in the tournament.
Although the final North American host cities will not be announced until as late as 2021, today’s decision places Denver among approximately 23 potential host cities under consideration. Denver is a world-class city and soccer destination, and our history of hosting extremely successful international soccer games and our enthusiastic fan base gives us confidence that – if selected – Denver and the region would be excited to see the World Cup take place at the Denver Broncos’ stadium. Current studies indicate that host cities can see an economic impact of as much $360 million.
Denver has a very good chance of being named a host city, especially since we’ve hosted several international matches in the past, and there’s this:
From FIFA's bid evaluation report, highest-rated stadium proposals in North American package:— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 2, 2018
2. (tie) Miami
2. (tie) Houston
2. (tie) Santa Clara
Lowest: Mexico City, LA, NY/NJ, Toronto
CONCACAF also released a statement which includes the following:
Over the next eight years, Concacaf and its member associations will continue to support our three host countries and FIFA as they prepare to host the world’s largest sporting competition, and welcome 48 teams alongside their millions of fans.
We will all work together to leverage this opportunity as a platform to accelerate the development of football in our own region, with the potential to bring positive social impact through football, as well as breaking records of attendance and revenue that will contribute to the sustainability of our game.
The 1994 World Cup impacted and attracted many toward the beautiful game here in the states. Two years later, Major League Soccer was founded and still continues to thrive 22 years later.
As Aguilar noted, Denver is one of 23 cities under consideration as a potential host city, whose games would be played at the former Mile High Stadium where the NFL’s Denver Broncos play—a place which seats just over 76,000.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any memories from the 1994 World Cup?
If it’s any consolation, this means that 2026 will not be a repeat of 2018—the United States will be a part of the World Cup then as the host nation.