Cincinnati representatives meet with FIFA to discuss 2026 World Cup bid

Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:06 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati’s effort to get the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the Queen City took a step forward Tuesday.

Representatives from FC Cincinnati, the City, and Hamilton County all met virtually with FIFA on Tuesday.

Cincinnati’s bid to get the iconic sporting event centers around Paul Brown Stadium and not the soon to open home of FC Cincinnati, West End Stadium.

The reason why Paul Brown Stadium is being eyed is because of capacity.

FIFA wants venues that can hold between 40,000 and 80,000 fans. Paul Brown Stadium has a capacity of 65,535.

There would need to be some changes made at PBS if they were to play host.

Paul Brown Stadium would have to be installed with natural grass and its corner seating removed to add more field space.

The field of cities bidding to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup is crowded.

There are 17 cities vying for a bid, but only 10 sites in the United States will be selected.

The list of US cities includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington DC.

Right now, the big cities on both coasts are considered front runners, while experts think the Midwest will be in the running for the final spot.

Cincinnati World Cup Committee Host Jeff Berding said the Queen City’s centralized location and the fact there is not a lot of competition in the middle of the country favors the bid.

“We’re pushing Ohio is the heart of it all,” said Berding. “And you know, if you think about, if you look at the list of the 17 cities, we’re about in, in the Midwest. There’s no Chicago There’s no Indy. No Detroit, there’s no Cleveland. There’s no Columbus. There’s no St. Louis. So, we feel enormously well-positioned to win this thing.”

Three countries will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup: Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Canada and Mexico will have three host sites, while 10 will be in the US.

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