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Houston makes final cut for FIFA 2026 bid

Now it’s up to FIFA.

The Houston Dynamos might have to make some room: Space City has been included in the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

On Thursday, officials announced that Houston is one of 23 cities that are a part of the “United Bid,” a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to host the World Cup.

If the bid is successful, Houston could see international teams battling it out at NRG Stadium.

“Canada, Mexico, and the United States have joined together to deliver a United Bid that offers FIFA and its member associations the power of unity, the promise of certainty, and the potential of extraordinary opportunity,” John Kristick, Executive Director of the United Bid said in a news release.

See here for the background. The original list had 49 venues in 44 cities, so it was about fifty-fifty for Houston to make the cut. At this point, if United Bid wins, we’re in. I’ll definitely buy some tickets if we do. US Soccer has more.

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13 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    How can such a “cash strapped city” afford this bad investment when “three cities dropping out citing burdensome financial demands by FIFA” and ” remaining 30 percent is based on projected costs and revenues.” Tax money is not collected to make these events profitable. These types of investments shows Houston has learned nothing from losing money during the Super Bowl. These investments show the business interest pattern is : bad business for the city and tax payers, good business for private business ventures. Tax money is not meant to make these events profitable.

  2. penwyth says:

    This is great news for Houston.

    Houston would be a fantastic venue for fans for the games.

    Given the numerous pluses for Houston’s hosting abilities and hospitality I am hopeful that Houston would additionally be in line for some of the knockout matches.

  3. David Fagan says:

    Dan Mason of University of Alberta brings up points Houston only assesses after their blank check is cashed:

    “The Province (Alberta) says it needs more information on how the event would affect taxpayers — a reasonable position to take according to Mason.”

    ““It’s the cities that are going to be the most responsible financially for the cost overruns and the demands that are being put upon them by the sport-governing bodies.” Mason said.

    If that doesn’t sound like a blank check, I don’t know what does. Why doesn’t the media body cover these issues if they are supposedly the hawk-eyes of the people? Why are there no examples of exactly what Houston is bidding for the public to examine? This would be an excellent law, to make these offers public and ready for the public to read. Can anyone find a copy of the 2017 Super Bowl contact? Bad business for the municipal government, good business for Fifa. Following is a link to Mason’ s interview.

    http://ca.worldpronews.com/66779/2995/73/9a543fc7550e6ccefec1ea67540ab8b9518cbbb5

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    I wonder how many crimes will go unsolved because Houston used the resources to provide unreimbursed security for the Super Bowl or the FIFA cup.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    @David:

    Excellent post, I agree fully.

  6. Manny Barrera says:

    According to the link provided by Fagan the estimated cost to a city is between 35 million and 55 million. Normally a city loses money but others that enjoy the benefits don’t. So it may cost a couple of million dollars, most people had no problem paying for NRG or the former Enron Stadium, why?

    What exactly does Houston have that would make Houston a destination for international travelers?

    Houston Hot?

    How much free advertisement does Houston get? Let Houston charge all the outsiders for using our streets, problem solved.

  7. C.L. says:

    Umm.. It’s NOT Houston Dynamos… it’s Houston Dynamo. Not plural.

    NRG is a horrible venue for a soccer game, ‘specially considering the fact that you’d have to roll in actual, green, living grass, pull of sand and seams. FIFA’s okay with the women playing on artificial turf, but ain’t about to let the men play on it. Great place if you want to sell 70K tickets, substandard place for fans of the game. If FIFA can play in the heat in Qatar, they can play in the heat at BBVA.

  8. David Fagan says:

    Barrera, “Normally a city loses money but others that enjoy the benefits don’t” sounds like the point I’m trying to make: bad business decisions for the city, good business decisions for businesses who count on these decisions to make a profit. When the city council says they have to “run the city like a business”, these examples are contrary to that metaphor. If they were running the city like a business, the millions invested would pay back millions for the investor, but there is no proof of that in these types of ‘investments’. A better question to ask about these sports facilities, rather than why did the voters vote for them, is: if investing in such a complex is such a wonderful money making business opportunity, then why don’t the multi million dollar teams who pay in them own them themselves? Any aspect of investment that is considered a money making investment, private business would be all over it, but you don’t see them building these facilities, even a small rugby field, or even a library. If libraries made money, they would be privatised, but that’s not happening, is it? With all of that being said, his is it a wonder Houston has revenue issues? Bad business for the public, profitable business for private. At what point does this behavior cross the line between business and charity?

  9. David Fagan says:

    Also, the idea that spending 35-55 million on an event rather than spending it on streets is that the tax revenue brought in would be greater than the money spent (sounds like a great investment), so, if this idea were true, then after all the millions and millions spent on the priorities, people should be driving on streets smooth as glass, is this true?

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    David again nails it. That’s the best explanation I have seen on the subject in a long while.

  11. Ross says:

    so, David, are you saying the City shouldn’t build libraries, parks, etc? That would make this a really crappy place to live, especially for those folks who have limited resources. Great cities have great public spaces. The rugby field was already going to be built prior to the pro team agreeing to pay rent to play there.

    I thought the Superbowl went well for Houston. Lots of visitors, lots of positive comments about coming back for vacation, according to Mrs. WRM20, who worked as a volunteer.

  12. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    The Superbowl went well for the NFL, local hotels, bars and restaurants, rental car companies, airlines, etc. Guess who it didn’t do well for? City of Houston and Harris County taxpayers, who paid for all the security, etc. I’m guessing at least some of those taxpayers would have rather seen that money spent solving crimes or fixing potholes.

  13. Ross says:

    Bill, the City was reimbursed $5.5 million for security by the host committee. All those visitors also paid sales taxes, hotel taxes, etc. Harris County didn’t negotiate reimbursement for security and ate that cost.

    Whether or not taxpayers should have paid for most of the sports venues building costs is moot now, since it happened, and won’t be changed.