United Bid prevails: World Cup may be coming to Seattle in 2026

2018 Cup begins Thursday in Russia

While the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday in Russia, soccer fans from the United States, Canada and Mexico are already anticipating what will occur eight years from now.

On Wednesday at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, the organization announced that the 2026 World Cup will be held in those three countries as The United Bid scored 134 of 200 votes cast, or 67 percent. Morocco notched 65 votes (33 percent), and one single-member association voted not to choose either of the two bids.

The Cup will feature 48 teams in 2026, up 16 from this year. This year’s Cup will conclude on July 15.

Seattle has been named one of 23 potential host city candidates in The United Bid, and FIFA will select up to 16 host cities out of the 23 on the proposed lineup.

United2026 tweeted: “The world will unite in North America! #United2026 has officially won the right to host the @FIFAWorldCup!”

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a statement to the Reporter on Wednesday:

“We here in King County, in this welcoming, global region, stand united in our effort to host World Cup matches. I, along with many others, will strongly make the case that our metropolitan region has the world-class venues, transit infrastructure, accommodations, and passionate soccer community to make this a success. Generations of homegrown fans, and enthusiasts from across the globe, are eager for our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome the world’s game in 2026.”

Soccer analyst Alexi Lalas, who played for the US when it last hosted the Cup in 1994, tweeted: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump for your support of soccer and the @united2026 joint World Cup bid. It’s a great day for the game and for all three countries.”

According to a US Soccer press release, the number and diversity of cities in Canada, Mexico and the United States represent the most comprehensive and far-reaching hosting strategy ever developed for a mega-sporting event. The United Bid’s hosting vision and strategy projects more than 5.8 million tickets will be sold, generating in excess of $2 billion in ticketing revenue.

In a previous Reporter story, Eastside FC, director of operations Chance Fry — also a former pro player and Sammamish High grad — said Seattle is ready to get in the World Cup game.

“This is not a surprise as Seattle has proven itself over time as an extremely supportive soccer city, especially for our national team. Additionally, being a diverse cosmopolitan city, wonderful destination for tourists and our close proximity to Vancouver, we could host any of the games and they would easily sell out,” he said.

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