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Houston part of bid for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Nice.

Houston and NRG Stadium are on an official list for cities and venues that may be considered to host a FIFA World Cup match if the event comes to North America in 2026.

The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada began its outreach for cities to declare interest to serve as a host city by sending Requests for Information to 44 cities throughout the continent.

The list is comprised of 49 stadiums in and around 44 cities that will be considered for inclusion in the official bid that will be sent to FIFA by March 16, 2018.

The list includes 37 stadiums in 34 U.S. cities. Other Texas stadiums are the Cotton Bowl, AT&T Stadium and the Alamodome.

[…]

After cities declare their interest, the UBC will review the submissions and will issue a short list of cities by late September. The UBC will then provide more detailed bid documentation to the cities and conduct meetings to discuss questions as candidate cities prepare their final bid, which is due in early January.

The UBC plans to include 20-25 venues in its final bid to FIFA.

See here for a list of potential host cities and stadia. Basically, for NRG to get one or more games, we would have to make the cut for the final bid, which looks like a strong bet at this time, and then the North America contingent would have to be awarded the event by FIFA; Morocco is the other bidder in competition. The 2026 Cup is the first one with the expanded 48-team field, so there will be more games to be played. FIFA will make its announcement around the time of the 2018 Cup.

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5 Comments

  1. brad m says:

    Would be awesome if Houston could get a couple group stage games and a knock game or two.

  2. Joel says:

    i am a huge soccer fan, and the world cup is a guilty pleasure of mine (despite my awareness of fifa’s corruption and all the unsavory complications that follow hosting world cups).

    having said that, i attended the copa america semifinal last summer at NRG featuring the US v. argentina, and all we heard about from the players and analysts was the poor field conditions.

    i don’t think north america, with its turf fields, is well-equipped to host a world cup that is by rule played on grass. believe it or not, grass grown in flats that are installed on top of plywood in turn covering turf installed on concrete doesn’t make for good soccer.

  3. Joel says:

    not that FIFA will care, of course. as long as the right pockets get lined it will be so.

  4. C.L. says:

    Am with Joel. Played 40 years (right up to my second ACL tear), avid viewer, Dynamo/Dash STH, etc., but NRG is a horrific pitch for the beautiful game. Have steadfastly refused to attend any (more) games there. I equate soccer at NRG to baseball/football/Texas Jams’ in the old Astrodome.

  5. C.L. says:

    …but if the money’s right, it’ll happen. I’d be happier seeing group stage games at BBVA.

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