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These U.S. Cities Need the World Cup Closing – and its Thousands and thousands in Tourism Spending

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Skift Take

Not solely is the ultimate recreation value hundreds of thousands in vacationer spending, locations will win bragging rights and put themselves on the map with new vacationer markets.

FIFA’s 2026 World Cup with be in North America and the largest U.S. cities have their eyes on one huge prize: Internet hosting the ultimate match.

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The contenders are most probably Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York’s surrounding space. Solely three stadiums are massive sufficient to host the ultimate recreation, mentioned NYC Tourism+Conventions President and CEO Fred Dixon. “It’s LA’s new SoFi Stadium, which is a pleasant shiny new object, the Cowboy Stadium, and MetLife in New Jersey,” he mentioned.

FIFA is anticipated to launch the match schedule and places in September and the ultimate recreation contenders have been clear about what they need.  

New York: “We’re the media capital of the world, the nation’s largest metropolis, the most important catchment of soccer followers on this planet, essentially the most various group in America,” he mentioned. “The followers world wide suppose we’re internet hosting the finals. In the event you ask folks simply randomly, the place do you suppose the finals? They’re like, effectively, it’ll be in New York.”

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Dallas: “We’ve been very vocal about internet hosting the finals, on the very least semifinals, and being thought-about for quite a few causes,” mentioned Monica Paul, govt director of the Dallas Sports activities Fee, on the Locations Worldwide 2023 Annual Conference.

Los Angeles: “We’re pushing exhausting to get the finals,” mentioned LA Tourism President and CEO Adam Burke. “There’s not a foul seat in the home,” he mentioned, referring to SoFi, which was inbuilt 2019 and rumored to price $5 billion. “It’s bought this huge infinity board that runs the complete periphery.” Burke additionally famous the potential financial increase from internet hosting the video games: “By way of direct guests spending, you’re speaking about half a billion {dollars} related to it.”

LA can also be a giant media market and since town is so unfold out, huge congestion is much less prone to be an issue, which is able to protect the customer expertise, mentioned Burke.

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Dallas’s AT&T Stadium can host 100,000 followers, mentioned Paul. The ultimate recreation would strengthen the area’s standing in tourism. Dallas estimates the World Cup video games will deliver an financial increase of over $400 million and three,000 new jobs from internet hosting the World Cup.

Every World Cup recreation will fill the MetLife stadium with 80,000 followers. “That is going to be the equal of internet hosting six or seven or eight Tremendous Bowls inside a most likely six-week interval,” mentioned New York’s Dixon, who’s a trustee for New York and New Jersey’s internet hosting committee. 

Extra video games could make up for not having the finals when it comes to financial affect, nevertheless it received’t make up for the status. “Whether or not you fill it for 80,000 for the finals, or 80,000 for a semi or 1 / 4, the extra video games we get, the extra financial affect in the end,” mentioned Dixon. “There’s nonetheless the status of getting the finals.”

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The FIFA Fan Competition, a free watch social gathering for the match to look at video games in host cities, will deliver massive visitation and energize locals.  “We’ve proposed fan fests in each borough,” mentioned Dixon. “We wish each native to have entry.”

Host cities can even get new consideration with vacationers.  “Lots of people who will come to LA due to a serious occasion who could also be it wasn’t on their listing earlier than, or perhaps they weren’t pondering of it for conferences and conventions,” mentioned LA’s Burke.

No marvel locations are hungry for the match schedule. “Proper now, it’s somewhat bit sit and wait, however there’s somewhat poking and prodding, all of us prefer to have somewhat enjoyable within the sports activities world,” mentioned Dallas’ Paul at on the Locations Worldwide Annual Convention.

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This yr, FIFA expanded the variety of groups enjoying from from 32 to 48, growing the variety of matches locations will host. Kansas Metropolis, for instance, might doubtlessly host eight or 9 matches, as an alternative of 5 to seven, mentioned Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of Go to KC on the Locations Worldwide Annual Convention. The match will probably be held from June 11 to July, 26, 2026, throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

U.S. locations are elevating cash to host the video games within the meantime. “At this level, we’re all in income generator mode as we eagerly wait this fall to study precisely what number of matches we’ll be internet hosting,” she mentioned.

New York Metropolis and New Jersey’s internet hosting committee wants to lift round $100 million between now and  2026, mentioned Dixon.

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