Jun 16, 2022 - News

North Texas will host World Cup games in 2026

Map: Axios Visuals

AT&T Stadium in Arlington will be a host venue during the 2026 World Cup, which will have games in 16 cities across the U.S., Mexico and Canada, FIFA announced Thursday.

Yes, but: It's not clear yet which games North Texas will host. The local bid committee, which consists of leaders from across the region, has been hoping to land the World Cup Final.

  • Dallas 2026 host city bid chairman Dan Hunt told Axios earlier this year that North Texas has a "realistic chance" of hosting the final match.

Why it matters: While the financial cost-benefit analysis of hosting World Cup games is debatable, bringing the largest sporting event in the world to North Texas in 2026 will have impacts that go beyond economics.

The big picture: After Dallas hosted several first-round games and a quarterfinal match at the Cotton Bowl in 1994, the sport saw such a local boost that the National Soccer Hall of Fame is now in Frisco.

Three soccer players celebrating a goal
One of the Dallas games in 1994 gave birth to what has become a classic goal celebration move. Photo: Mark Leech/Getty Images

What they're saying: "I can't tell you what a thrill it is just to think about a World Cup participant playing a game at AT&T Stadium," Jerry Jones, another member of the bid committee, told reporters at the announcement.

  • "The legacy of the 1994 World Cup is a big reason why we’re here today," Hunt said at the announcement. "On the back of that World Cup, Major League Soccer was born. As the league has grown, the appetite for elite-level soccer continues to flourish. There has never been a better moment in time to be involved in the beautiful game than right now."

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