After a meeting between those responsible for the Miami's bid with FIFA representatives, Miami-Dade County seems closer than ever to becoming one of the venues for the 2026 Soccer World Cup.
The meeting included officials in charge of logistics and operations of Hard Rock Stadium, where the games would be played.
Miami is on a short list of 17 cities vying to be one of the venues in the United States. The 2026 World Cup, the first with 48 teams, will be played on three Canadian cities, three Mexican cities and 10 and 12 cities in the Unites States.
Among the selling points for South Florida: Miami-Fort Lauderdale was # 1 among all U.S. markets for 2018 World Cup viewership on Telemundo in Spanish and # 2 overall for Fox coverage in English. Additionally, the 2017 match “El Clásico Miami” between Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens generated $15 million in ticket sales, the highest-grossing soccer game in US history.
“After our 11th record-breaking Super Bowl (in 2020), a College Football National Championship game in 2021, Miami is poised for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” said William D. Talbert III, President and CEO General of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, adding, “with five major convention centers, nine sporting and event venues, and relentlessly warm weather, the Greater Miami Area offers everything fans could ask for. We are delighted to be a top finalist in the 2026 World Cup selection process and look forward to working closely with our U.S. partners and FIFA.”
Among the training facilities that would be available are the Inter Miami training complex in Fort Lauderdale, the new Miami Dolphins training facilities, Barry University, FIU, St. Thomas University and Marlins Park.
The other US cities listed as finalist list: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Denver (Empower Field at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York / New Jersey (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Camping World Stadium) , Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco Bay Area (Levi's Stadium), Seattle (Lumen Field) and Washington, DC (FedEx Field).