Members of Dallas Sports Commission, FC Dallas and Dallas Cowboys meet with FIFA in bid to showcase Dallas on international stage
FRISCO, TX (July 23, 2020) - The Dallas Sports Commission, FC Dallas and the Dallas Cowboys today announced the status of Dallas’ potential role in hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup™ matches. The Dallas 2026 Host Committee met virtually with FIFA representatives in Zurich this morning, a key step in bringing the most electrifying sporting event in the world to Dallas.
FC Dallas President and Dallas 2026 Host Committee Chairman Dan Hunt, Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President of Business Operations Chad Estis, AT&T Stadium General Manager Tod Martin, AT&T Stadium Director of Event Booking Delanie Foley, FC Dallas Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Smith, FC Dallas Vice President of Media and Communications Gina Miller, Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments Michael Morris and Fair Park/Spectra General Manager Peter Sullivan met with FIFA representatives Thursday morning. Estis, Hunt and Paul recapped the results with media Thursday afternoon.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the largest to date with 80 matches (60 in USA, 10 in Canada, 10 in Mexico), featuring 48 national teams. This is the first time FIFA has met one-on-one with all candidate host cities. Dallas is one of 17 potential U.S. host cities, along with Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC. The one-on-one sessions follow an earlier series of three workshops FIFA held with the North American host associations (Canada, Mexico and USA). FIFA will visit each of the 17 cities before making a final decision sometime next year.
“Soccer is probably the most powerful sport in the entire world, and I say that because it truly is the global game,” said Dan Hunt, President of FC Dallas and Chairman of the Dallas 2026 Host Committee. “We hope to create a soccer experience for a new era by uniting our diverse region, connecting fans from all cultures through the beautiful game and serving our communities for decades to come by breaking down barriers in a way that only sports can transcend.”
“When I was thinking about building AT&T Stadium, I knew we wanted a great place for 100,000 people to have a unique experience. We’re ready to do what we can to make this World Cup the most special of them all,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones. “I was a close, personal friend of Lamar Hunt. I’m aware of his vision for soccer in the U.S. and I’m proud to be a partner with his family on this bid to host the World Cup.”
In 1994, Cotton Bowl at Fair Park hosted six FIFA World Cup™ matches, including a legendary quarterfinal match between Holland and Brazil. Fair Park also served as the International Broadcast Center. The 1994 competition is the most successful competition to date in terms of fan attendance (3,587,538 million) with an average match attendance of 68,991.
“Going back to 1994, what we want to see coming out of the World Cup in 2026 is that soccer continues to grow here,” said Monica Paul, Executive Director, Dallas Sports Commission. “This really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a lasting and positive legacy for North Texas through the world’s most popular sport- soccer. Sports in Dallas are woven into the fabric of our culture. By hosting the World Cup, we have an opportunity to showcase North Texas to an international audience and generate a huge economic engine for our region.”
Experts forecast an estimated 3,000 new jobs will be created and that the local economy will receive an estimated $400-million economic boost by hosting World Cup matches. Leaders from Dallas and other North Texas cities, AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Sports Commission, DFW Airport, Love Field and other city, regional, state and national entities have already been collaborating to allow for a safe and seamless execution of a successful World Cup 2026. Cities chosen will be notified in late 2021.