[Source: Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee] Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup has been boosted by the news that Houston will host multiple 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Matches at the city’s state-of-the-art BBVA Stadium and NRG Stadium.
Houston is one of only seven metropolitan markets selected to host matches in the 2021 edition of the tournament, with the BBVA Stadium and NRG Stadium two of the ten host venues. The decision comes on the back of Houston being awarded the right to host the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships, which will be the first time the event has been held in the United States.
The awarding of these two major international events highlights the confidence international sports bodies have in Houston’s sports hosting credentials. Houston has a proven track record in delivering world-class soccer and sport events. The BBVA Stadium has featured in every edition of the Gold Cup since it began in 2012 and the NRG Stadium has played host to some of the most well-attended matches in the tournament’s history, including a sold-out quarterfinal doubleheader in 2019.
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President Chris Canetti, said: “This is great news and I commend Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and all those involved in successfully bringing these fantastic events to our city. Houston is a soccer-loving city with a proud Gold Cup history and I am sure will do a fantastic job in hosting the tournament.
“Being awarded Gold Cup matches, alongside the World Table Tennis Championships, is further evidence that Houston has what it takes to host major international sports events. It is a helpful step towards our ultimate objective of becoming a host city for the world’s greatest single sport’s event - the FIFA World Cup. Houston has a proven track record in successfully delivering world-class international sports events and providing the ultimate environment for athletes to perform at their best.”
The 2021 Gold Cup will officially kick off with a new Preliminary Round where 12 nations who qualified through their CONCACAF Nations League performances will compete for the final three spots in the 16 team Gold Cup Group Stage. The Round One and Two Prelims matchups were drawn on September 10, 2020. The Group Stage will kick off on July 10, and the Final will be played on August 1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, the 2021 World Table Tennis is scheduled to take place November 23-29 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, The tournament will see a total of 128 world’s best athletes in singles, and 64 pairs in doubles, compete and have a reach of over 500 million viewers globally across TV and digital platforms.
Houston 2026 continues to take steps forward to set itself apart in the field of 17 U.S. cities bidding to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Houston has hosted more large-scale sporting events than any other candidate host city since 2004, including two Super Bowls and two NCAA Final Fours.
Houston’s state-of-the-art NRG Stadium, recognized as the “Best Football Crowd in America” in 2008, has hosted several International Champions Cup matches and dozens of international soccer fixtures.
FIFA is expected to decide on the 10 U.S. host cities in late-2021 and is currently holding one-on-one discussions with each bid city. Houston 2026 is confident that the city’s tried and tested experience will provide an unmatched player and fan experience and deliver thrilling atmospheres at 2026 FIFA World Cup matches.