MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2026, and fútbol fever is already beginning to spread across the region.
Local leaders were in a celebratory mood at a news conference held Friday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said South Florida soccer fans are prepared.
“I know that our community is ready for this event, right?” she said as she turned to City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
“Agreed,” said Suarez.
“We’re all ready, the top football capital of the United States, and we’re going to be welcoming the people from all across the world and billions of eyes on our community.” she said. “It’s going to be a win-win-win.”
Hard Rock Stadium was chosen as one of 11 U.S. venues to host soccer’s biggest event in 2026.
Suarez found it difficult to contain his excitement.
“Gol!” he said.
Tom Garfinkel, the Miami Dolphins’ vice chairman and CEO, described the task that lies ahead for them.
“It’s trying to create a venue in this very dynamic place that we live where people want to travel from all over the world to attend these events,” he said. “The World Cup, along with Formula One and Super Bowl, is as big as it gets.”
Those running the Hard Rock Stadium know how to throw a big sporting event. Miami-Dade County officials expect the World Cup to garner a major economic impact and tons of attention.
“When things come to Miami-Dade County, we tend to know that it comes to all of us as a whole, so being to celebrate, like, they can stay in Miami Beach, they can stay in Miami, but the game will be hosted here in Miami Gardens,” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon, “and we all work together, so this is wonderful, what it’s doing for our economy. It’s also helping us develop even faster now.”
Suarez said the Magic City will be the place to be come 2026.
“The excitement is going to be palpable, it’s going to be tangible. It’s going to infect the city. It’s going to be a great thing,” he said. “We’ve seen these massive conventions that take over our city. I think this will be potentially one of the biggest parties that we’ve ever thrown.”
The last time the World Cup matches were played in the U.S. was in 1994.
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