Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee officials will meet with FIFA and US Soccer representatives today (Wednesday March 10) to showcase their plans for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“We are excited for the opportunity to engage with FIFA and US Soccer and discuss Houston’s unmatched operational readiness to host World Cup matches in 2026,” said Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee president, Chris Canetti.
The virtual meeting will focus the NRG Stadium, where World Cup matches would be held.
“We are fortunate to have such a world-class facility as part of our amazing network of infrastructure. NRG Stadium is a key element to the bid, and we are eager to show how the stadium can seamlessly deliver for FIFA as it has done time-and-time again for other major events,” Canetti said.
The bid team say the city has hosted more large-scale sporting events than any other candidate host city since 2004. The NRG Stadium, home to the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock & Rodeo Show, has hosted two Super Bowls, two NCAA Final Fours, Copa America Centenario. NRG will host the 2023 Final Four and the 2024 College Football Playoff. It has regularly hosted the Concacaf Gold Cup and matches involving the Mexican National Team. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Real Madrid have recently played at NRG Stadium.
As the fourth largest city in the US, with seven million people, Houston would be the biggest US city hosting the 2026 World Cup within the city limits.
The Houston delegation also includes Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee chairman, John Arnold, consultant, John Kristick, Mark Miller, general manager of NRG Park, Ryan Walsh, executive director of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. – NRG Park, David Fletcher, executive director of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, and Dan Bergstrom, the director of turf & grounds for BBVA Stadium.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be played in 16 cities across the US, Mexico, and Canada. Houston is one of 17 US cities vying to host World Cup matches in 2026. FIFA is expected to select 10 US host cities, with a final decision coming in late 2021.