Representatives of Washington, D.C., and Maryland formally presented pitches to become official host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
The two are competing against each other and 30 other North American cities to be part of the United States’ formal bid to FIFA, the governing body which oversees the World Cup.
Event officials representing Washington, D.C., and the Maryland Stadium Authority presented to leaders of the United Bid Committee in Houston last week, the News4 I-Team learned. D.C. representatives proposed FedEx Field in Landover as a host site for World Cup matches. The Maryland Stadium Authority is offering Ravens Stadium in Baltimore.
Written proposals must be submitted to the United Bid Committee by Jan. 19 for formal consideration.
“World Cups don’t come around every day. These opportunities don’t come around every day,” said Terry Hasseltine of the Maryland Stadium Authority.
“We’re excited our effort is moving forward," Hasseltine said. "(The United Bid Committee) is excited the state of Maryland is involved.”
Maryland’s proposal also specifies several venues to be used for training sites for World Cup 2026, including Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Goucher College.
D.C.’s proposal was drafted by officials with Destination D.C. A spokeswoman did not specify the possible training sites included in D.C.’s bid, but Maryland officials said it’s likely the University of Maryland could be added as a possible training site by D.C. or Maryland officials before formal bids are submitted.
“Hosting the World Cup in Washington, D.C., could provide an economic impact of up to $600 million,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “We’re thrilled to potentially add the World Cup to our lineup and welcome soccer fans from around the globe.”
The 32 potential North American host cities include 25 cities in the United States, four cities in Canada and three in Mexico. Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and New York City are among the other American cities seeking to be hosts.
The United States last hosted the World Cup in 1994.