Friday, 22 September, 2017

Jacksonville solicited for 2026 FIFA World Cup

TD Place TD Place is home to the Ottawa Fury FC and the CFL's Ottawa RedBlacks seen in action in a September 2016 game
Lance Thomas | 16 August, 2017, 14:55

The United States, Mexico and Canada are all teaming up to be considered as host sites for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

A list of the other stadiums and cities being considered can be found online here.

The United Bid Committee of the U.S., Mexico and Canada announced Tuesday it is considering Minneapolis and the U.S. Bank Stadium as one of the 44 cities and 49 stadiums for inclusion in its official bid.

Bid officials said 60 of the tournament's matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each. The committee will then provide more details and conduct meetings to discuss any questions as the candidate cities prepare for their final bid, which is due in January.

In March, the committee will then include 20-25 venues in its final submission to Federation Internationale de Football Association, world soccer's governing body, to determine the chance of hosting matches or other possible opportunities.

FedEx Field, the Washington Redskins' suburban home, is listed as the proposed D.C. area stadium. Aside from the logistical challenges, a big list of stadiums does not increase revenue but does raise costs.

Stadiums under consideration in the United States include several venues used in the 1994 World Cup, like the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

But Cicero said New Orleans has plenty of experience attracting worldwide visitors and organizing major sporting events, including being chosen as the host for the Super Bowl 10 times, the men's basketball Final Four six times, and the NBA All-Star Game three times.

World Cup stadiums must, among other things, seat at least 40,000 people and meet the minimum field size standards of world soccer governing body, FIFA.

That recipe hasn't always spared New Orleans painful snubs lately, with the city losing out on the rights to host future Super Bowls in 2014 and 2016 at the Superdome. Canada, which would also host 10 games, is offering at least six cities.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first time the tournament expands from 32 to 48 teams, which breaks down to 16 groups of three teams with 80 overall matches. FIFA will choose the host at the FIFA Congress in June 2018.

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