D.C. launches bid to host 2026 World Cup games

Washington D.C. launches a bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Photo credit Greg Fiume/Getty Images

While American sports in 2020 may not happen, Washington D.C. started planning for the future, launching a bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Tuesday. 

"Right now, as countries around the world continue to respond to this pandemic, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is something we can all look forward to," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement announcing the bid. "And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for DC — the Sports Capital and District of Champions — to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world."

For 2026, the World Cup will be jointly hosted by Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. with an expanded field of 48 teams playing across 16 North American cities. D.C. is joining the race to be one 10 U.S. hosts.  

We are #UnitedByTheGame. Join the #DC2026 movement today ➡️ https://t.co/0KxJzosFg3 --⚽️ pic.twitter.com/9piz9sdQhK

— DC2026 World Cup Bid (@dc2026) June 30, 2020

DC2026, the group entrusted with forming the bid, announced a 40-member advisory board that includes D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, former D.C. United player Eddie Pope, Washington Spirit's Andi Sullivan, former USWNT player Brianna Scurry, and chef Jose Andres.

"As a native Washingtonian, I am proud to be a Co-Chair of DC's official bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup," Hamid said in a statement. "I could not think of a more vibrant, inclusive or passionate soccer city to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026. With our deep soccer roots and diversity, the culture of our city gives us our foundation to successfully highlight the matches and leave a lasting impact on the future of the game."

D.C. hosted games during the 1994 men's World Cup at RFK Stadium, as well as games during the 1999 and 2003 women's World Cup. However, RFK Stadium won't likely be a location this time around with FedEx Field being the only current viable option in the D.C. area. 

In all, sixteen U.S. cities are in the running to be selected, including Baltimore (which put forward M&T Bank Stadium). Per The Washington Post, the favorites include New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, the Bay Area and Boston, with Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Seattle.
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