District of Columbia Named Finalist to Host 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™

“It would be an honor and our pleasure to welcome the 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™ to Washington, DC. From the many museums and monuments that tell the story of our country’s history to our thriving local neighborhoods that reflect the culture, diversity, and vibrancy of our residents, we are well-suited to provide a world-class experience to soccer fans from around the world. An extraordinary event like the World Cup deserves an extraordinary host, and we look forward to working to bring the 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™ to Washington, DC.”

“On behalf of the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC is honored for Washington, DC to have been selected as one of the top U.S. bid finalists for the 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, Events DC president and CEO. “Washington, DC is etched with rich soccer memories and celebrations from across the city whether at the iconic RFK Stadium to FedEx Field.  The opportunity to be selected will only build on the legacy that DC has cemented as an international soccer city and will inspire the next generation of Washingtonians for years to come.  We look forward to continuing to support our quest to host the 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™ in Washington, DC and strengthening our ongoing relationship with FIFA.”

Held every four years, the FIFA WORLD CUP™ is a celebration of international soccer, its rich history and diverse culture.  If selected, DC is projected to have an economic impact of approximately $600 million generated by the FIFA WORLD CUP™. The 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™ would also bring in thousands of competitors and spectators to the city.

“Hosting the World Cup in Washington, DC could provide an economic impact of up to $600 million,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, Destination DC. “Washington, DC is a destination for sports fans, with incredible professional teams as well as special events. In 2018, we’ll host MLB All-Star Week and DC is currently a finalist to host the Gay Games 2022. We’re thrilled to potentially add the World Cup to our lineup and welcome soccer fans from around the globe.”    

During the next stage of the bid process, the United Bid Committee will integrate the 32 potential host cities into the united bid strategy and vision, as well as work with local officials to finalize the hosting documents required by FIFA. Representatives from the 32 potential host cities will travel to Houston, TX during the week of November 13th for a working session with the United Bid Committee team.

“As we move to the next stage of the bid process, we’re even more confident we have everything needed to deliver the largest, most compelling FIFA World Cup™ in history and help accelerate the growth of soccer across North America and around the world,” said United Bid Chairman Sunil Gulati. “We have more than double the number of cities required to stage matches in 2026. We have a vision for growing the game and engaging fans as never before. Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to honor the enthusiasm of all the people across Canada, Mexico and the United States through the development of our united hosting concept.”

The next FIFA WORLD CUP™ will take place in Russia in 2018. 

About Events DC 
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, deliver premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. The most recent addition is Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a 1-acre park, conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook (Events DC), Twitter (@TheEventsDC and @TheEventsDC_SED for the Sports Entertainment and Special Events Division), and Instagram (@EventsDC).

About Destination DC 
Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 900 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org

About the United Bid Committee  
The United Bid Committee was created by the National Federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. Robert Kraft serves as Honorary Chairman of the United Bid Committee Board of Directors. Sunil Gulati is Chairman of the United Bid Committee Board of Directors, which includes representatives of the three North American soccer federations. The Executive Director of the United Bid Committee is John Kristick.

About The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ 
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure to ensure a successful tournament. The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States is uniquely suited to accommodate FIFA’s high-level standards for hosting a FIFA World Cup™. If the United Bid is selected by FIFA as the host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, at least 12 cities will be selected as venues for games. Canada, Mexico and the United States also have a long and successful history as hosts -13 FIFA World Cups have been hosted Canada, Mexico and the United States, five of which set attendance records.

Contact: Ashley Forrester, 202-249-3178, [email protected] 

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About the Author: Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper is Canadian Business Tribune''s senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in London Ontario and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com. He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for CBC and Global News . In 2014, he was the winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' investigative journalism award, and the winner of the Izzy Award for Journalism from Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media. He was also a finalist for UCLA's Gerald R. Loeb Award and Syracuse University's Mirror Award. Before becoming a journalist in 2006, Sirota worked in Washington for, among others, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Minority Staff and the Center for American Progress.