Nov 8, 2021 - Sports
Dallas bids for 2026 World Cup final
An American soccer player, wearing a white jersey, lines up for a corner kick under a large jumbotron.
AT&T Stadium has hosted several international soccer matches, including U.S. v. Jamaica this summer. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

A bid committee consisting of elected officials, business leaders and executives from two different pro sports franchises has been lobbying FIFA with the hope that North Texas might host as many as six matches of the 2026 World Cup, including the final.

Why it matters: The World Cup final is the single biggest sporting event on the planet. Hosting the final match would bring global recognition and hundreds of millions dollars in revenue to North Texas.

  • The lobbying effort has brought together an impressive collection of politicians, business leaders and local celebrities like Dak Prescott and Dirk Nowitzki.

Driving the news: FIFA delegates recently toured Fort Worth, AT&T Stadium, Fair Park and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco.

What they’re saying: “We know the passion [North Texas] has for the other football, which is very obvious, but it’s also the passion for our football.” FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani said during a news conference at AT&T Stadium last month.

Details: The bid committee includes representatives from the Dallas Regional Chamber, both DFW Airport and Love Field, the mayors of Fort Worth, Frisco and Arlington, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones and FC Dallas president Dan Hunt.

By the numbers:

  • Sixteen different cities across Mexico, Canada and the U.S. will host World Cup 2026 games.
  • Dallas is one 17 cities vying to be one of the 10 or 11 U.S. venues chosen.
  • Houston is also spending millions in hopes of hosting matches.
  • The 2022 World Cup, in Qatar, is projected to bring in $2.2 billion in revenue for FIFA.

Yes, but FIFA’s history of bribery, corruption and fatal labor issues has been well documented.

Flashback: The Cotton Bowl hosted six games during the 1994 World Cup, including a quarter-final match between Brazil and the Netherlands that is often considered the best game of the tournament.

Our thought bubble: FIFA has a problematic track record, but anyone who went to one of those games at the Cotton Bowl — especially that quarter-final — is rooting for more matches in North Texas.

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