May 14, 2024 - News

Miami-Dade commissioners approve $49 million pledge for World Cup

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 4: FIFA World Cup Winner's Trophy during FIFA World Cup 2026 Match Schedule announcement on February 4, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The FIFA World Cup winner's trophy at the 2026 match schedule announcement in Miami. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui, FIFA via Getty Images

Miami-Dade commissioners gave preliminary approval on Monday to spend $49 million in cash and in-kind services to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Why it matters: The price tag is far greater than the $10 million the county says it spent to host the Super Bowl in 2020, per the Miami Herald.

  • But Hard Rock Stadium will be hosting seven matches for the international soccer tournament as opposed to just one game.

Follow the money: The County Commission's Policy Council approved a resolution approving the funding of $21 million — or $3 million per match — in cash support for the World Cup.

  • It also approved an extra $3 million in matching funds for a yet-to-be-announced World Cup "legacy project" and $25 million in donated county services and public safety expenses.
  • The funding would be spread out over two budget cycles.

Friction point: Commissioner Marleine Bastien raised concerns about the lack of detail in the spending plan.

  • "Why are we giving them this money?" she asked, noting FIFA is a billion-dollar organization.

Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava also expressed concerns over the price tag.

  • She said in a statement prior to the meeting that the county's funding obligation was "significant" and that her administration was reviewing the full fiscal impact, per the Herald.

Chairman Oliver Gilbert, who sponsored the resolution, said communities that bid to host large sporting events are committed to investing in the event.

  • Miami-Dade will receive international media coverage and an "influx" of tourists, he said.
  • "They'll stay in our hotels, they'll eat in our restaurants, they'll shop in our shops," Gilbert said. "It'll push hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy."

What's next: The resolution still needs to be approved by the full County Commission, per the Herald.

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