MIAMI (WSVN) - North America will host the 2026 World Cup and South Florida could be selected to host a match.
FIFA selected the United States, Canada and Mexico to host one of the largest sporting events in the world.
The association will need to select 16 host cities from 23 selected between the three countries.
Two Florida cities were selected as potential host cities for some matches: Miami and Orlando.
For Miami, the Hard Rock Stadium is believed to be the top choice as a venue. During its renovation period, world-class soccer matches were kept in mind.
William Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau is confident the games will be coming to the 305.
“In 2,924 days, you’re going to have your first World Cup match in Miami, Florida, so start counting,” said Talbert.
President of the Miami Dolphins, Tom Garfinkel, believes the stadium is a perfect choice, highlighting previous major soccer matches held there.
“We designed it to be a global entertainment destination,” he said, “I think it’s among, if not the best place to view soccer in the world now.”
If the games do come to South Florida, the economic impacts are expected to be massive, with tens of millions of dollars flowing into the area.
“It’ll be a tremendous economic impact to our area,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “The total economic impact for the United States is estimated to be about $4.2 billion.”
Michael Hernandez, who used to work for the county, helped bring the event to North America. He spent several days in Houston, Texas, working with other cities, putting together a bid package.
“It took dozens of county employees and employees at the Convention and Visitors Bureau and others in order to package this together,” said Hernandez.
The last World Cup held in the United States was in 1994, and this is the first time a joint World Cup will be held between three countries.
The final game is expected to be held at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
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