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BOSTON PRESENTS ITS SHARED VISION TO FIFA AND U.S. SOCCER IN ITS BID TO HOST THE 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP™
(BOSTON, July 28, 2020) — Members of Boston’s 2026 Bid Host Committee met virtually today with FIFA and U.S. Soccer to present its shared vision to serve as one of the final 10 United States destination cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
Tuesday’s online one-on-one workshop was a key next step in the host city selection process, and the first opportunity for Boston to make its case directly to FIFA executives in Zurich, Switzerland. The Greater Boston bid calls for numerous fan activations and team training sites throughout the city. World Cup games would be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, the site of numerous international soccer matches in recent decades.
“Our region is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and once again welcome the international soccer community to our diverse city, state, and region.” said Brian Bilello, President of Boston Soccer 2026 and President of the New England Revolution. “We had the honor of hosting matches for the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup and the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups, which brought fans across New England together for one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Boston is one of America’s most passionate sports cities that we know will welcome World Cup fans from around the globe with a world-class experience at Gillette Stadium.”
Boston is one of 17 potential U.S. host cities (from an original 23 U.S. candidate cities), along with Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the largest to date with 80 matches (60 in U.S., 10 in Canada, and 10 in Mexico), featuring 48 national teams. The international tournament was last held in the United States in 1994, with Boston serving as one of nine host cities.
“Team Boston is committed to delivering an unparalleled World Cup experience for fans, athletes and team officials,” said Martha Sheridan, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO. “In a year when America will be celebrating its 250th anniversary and the Commonwealth’s pivotal role in our country’s revolutionary story, it is only fitting that we would welcome the world to Boston as host to the greatest global sports tournament.”
The Boston Consulting Group’s research has estimated that individual 2026 FIFA World Cup™ host cities can expect to see up to 450,000 visitors and a potential net economic impact of up to $480 million. As a next step in the selection process, FIFA will conduct site visits to all candidate host cities and venues. The timeline for these visits are still unknown due to COVID-19 travel impacts, but a decision on the final host city locations is expected sometime in mid-2021.
NEW YORK (June 13, 2018) – The United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States was selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ earlier today by the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. For the first time in history, FIFA’s Member Associations were given the opportunity to vote on the host for the FIFA World Cup™. They did so by a vote of 134 to 65.
Today’s vote, which occurred a day before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, also marks the first time three nations have been selected to co‐host a FIFA World Cup™ and the first time the FIFA World Cup™ will be played in North America in 32 years. The United Bid offers FIFA and its 211 Member Associations unity, certainty, and opportunity as they prepare to host the largest FIFA World Cup™ in history, which will be expanded to a 48‐team format.
“Hosting a FIFA World Cup™ is an extraordinary honor and privilege,” said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co‐Chair of the United Bid. “Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup™ in history. Our vision is of a world of opportunity for our Candidate Host Cities and for the global football community.”
“We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA’s new vision for the future of football,” said Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co‐Chair of the United Bid. “Together—in partnership with our Candidate Host Cities, the Member Associations, and FIFA—we will use this platform to unite the world around football and help create a new and sustainable blueprint for the future of FIFA World Cups™.”
“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport,” said Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer and Co‐Chair of the United Bid. ‘We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the FIFA family have put in our bid; strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the CONCACAF region; and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come.”
With the FIFA Congress decision to award the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, to the football federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the three nations will jointly manage preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ until FIFA establishes their operations to manage the competition. Among other decisions, FIFA will make the final selection of host cities for the 2026 competition from the 23 candidates proposed in the United Bid.
Each of the United Bid’s 23 proposed stadiums are fully built, occupied, and operational, ensuring longterm use following the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. In addition, the United Bid has 150 existing world‐class training facilities, millions of hotel rooms, and advanced infrastructure.
The United Bid is expected to generate more than $14 billion in revenue and $11 billion in profits for FIFA, which will be shared with the 211 FIFA Member Associations, helping further develop and expand the game of football across the globe.
2026 FIFA World Cup Facts and Figures:
Number of Teams: 48
Number of Matches: 80
Number of Players: +1,100
Candidate Host Cites: 23
Proposed Training Sites: 150
Projected Revenue: $14 billion
Projected Profit: $11 billion
Projected Economic Impact: $5 billion
Projected Ticket Sales: 5.8 million
About the United Bid Committee
The United Bid Committee was created by the football federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
For a small town, Foxborough has a big tradition in soccer. Gillette Stadium, and previously Foxboro Stadium, has been the focal point for some of the beautiful game’s biggest spectacles. As the 2018 FIFA Men’s World CupTM gets underway in Russia on June 14, we look back through the last 25 years at 10 of the most unforgettable soccer moments in Foxborough.
When the world’s game came to the United States in the summer of 1994, Boston was in the heart of the action, as Foxboro Stadium played host to seven different nations during the prestigious tournament, including group matches for Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea, and Bolivia. In a competition that set the still-standing World Cup average attendance record with nearly 69,000 spectators per game, European powerhouses Spain and Italy played a Quarterfinals contest in front of 53,400 fans on July 9, 1994. Italian striker Roberto Baggio secured the victory for the Azzurri with a goal in the 88th minute to move Italy through to the Semifinals.
Shortly after FIFA brought the Men’s World Cup to the United States, the world again turned its eyes to the New England as Foxborough played host during the 1999 FIFA Women’s World CupTM. En route to the United States’ second title, the Women’s National Team closed group play before a crowd of 50,484 at Foxboro Stadium with a 3-0 win over North Korea on June 27, 1999. The Starting XI at Foxboro Stadium that day featured the likes of Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Brandi Chastain, Cindy Parlow, and Briana Scurry, with Julie Foudy contributing an assist off the bench. The action in Massachusetts concluded with a Semifinal contest between Norway and China on July 4, with the latter claiming a 5-0 win and a berth in the Final against the U.S.
The fourth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in a familiar location, but a brand new stadium. Just over one year after its opening, Gillette Stadium hosted seven different countries for four matches, including a pair of Quarterfinals contests on Oct. 1, 2003. More than 25,000 fans were on hand for the Americans’ 1-0 victory against Norway, as Abby Wambach’s first-half goal proved to be the game winner.
Since its opening in 2002, Gillette Stadium has been a regular site for the bi-annual CONCACAF Gold Cup, including four straight editions of the biannual tournament from 2003-09. Most recently, the competition returned to New England in 2015 when 46,720 attended a doubleheader featuring matches between Honduras and Panama, and the United States and Haiti. The USMNT dispatched Haiti by a 1-0 margin, as Clint Dempsey scored the game’s lone goal. Dempsey, who played for the Revolution from 2004-06, finished as the 2015 Gold Cup’s top scorer with seven tallies.
Major League Soccer’s deep roots in New England were cemented at the end of the league’s inaugural season, as Foxboro Stadium hosted the first ever MLS Cup Final in 1996. An overtime affair between the LA Galaxy and D.C. United finished 3-2 to the Black and Red. Goals in the early proceedings of each half put LA ahead, 2-0, but D.C. stormed back and claimed the title courtesy of a 94th minute goal from Eddie Pope. D.C. United midfielder Marco Etcheverry took home Most Valuable Player honors for the match.
When the MLS Cup Final returned to the Boston area for the third time, the crowd at Gillette Stadium set a record that has yet to be tested. The hometown New England Revolution faced the LA Galaxy on Oct. 20, 2002, with an MLS Cup-record audience of 61,316 was on hand to witness the Galaxy’s 1-0 double-overtime victory. Revolution legends Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Jay Heaps, and Joe Franchino took the field against a talented Galaxy side led by Alexi Lalas, Alejandro Moreno, and Carlos Ruiz, who put the game away with a golden goal in the 114th minute.
On Oct. 7, 2001, the United States Men’s National Team secured its fourth consecutive berth into the FIFA Men’s World CupTM in dramatic fashion. Facing a must-win scenario, the U.S. defeated Jamaica 2-1 at Foxboro Stadium, with both American goals coming from Revolution great Joe-Max Moore. In addition, current Revolution Head Coach Brad Friedel started in net for the match before posting a series of memorable performances in the World Cup as the USMNT advanced all the way to the Quarterfinals.
Since 2002, Gillette Stadium has hosted a total of 15 MLS Cup Playoff matches, and all but one of those matches saw the Revolution battling for the Eastern Conference Championship. Most recently, the Revs played to a 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls on Nov. 29, 2014. An announced crowd of 32,698 attended the contest, the most for a postseason MLS match at Gillette Stadium since the 2002 MLS Cup Final.
One hundred years after the tournament’s inception in 1916, Copa America came to Gillette Stadium in June 2016 for the first edition of the tournament held outside of South America. An expanded field of 16 teams, including all 10 nations from CONMEBOL and six from CONCACAF, competed across the United States. The last of three matches to be played in Foxborough was a Quarterfinal contest between Argentina and Venezuela, attended by 59,183 fans. Argentina’s superstars led the nation to a 4-1 win, highlighted by goals from Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuaín.
On April 27, 1996, the inaugural New England Revolution squad played the club’s first ever regular season home game in front of a packed house of 32,864 at Foxboro Stadium. The Revs faced another original MLS side in D.C. United and claimed the victory, 2-1, in a shootout. Mike Burns started the match in the midfield, while defender Geoff Aunger scored New England’s regulation goal from the penalty spot.