Arlington mayor addresses FIFA World Cup Final rumor. It’s not exactly encouraging.

Arlington mayor Jim Ross has been assured by FIFA officials that an announcement is “imminent.”

The problem is “imminent” is one of those words that can mean virtually anything to anybody. Could be right now. Maybe tomorrow. Next year, perhaps.

The worst kept secret for FIFA’s 2026 World Cup that is the location of the final match has been selected, and it’s AT&T Stadium in Arlington. No one officially has confirmed it; all of the reporting on this has been anonymous sources.

“I do not know; FIFA is very close to the chest on this,” Ross said Friday morning at an event for the Texas Rangers and city of Arlington. “I hope and pray it’s us. I think we are by far the best facility, the best location, the best everything for the final game. I’m biased. I’m the mayor of Arlington.

“We have met all of (FIFA’s) stipulations.”

This includes agreeing to provide a natural grass playing surface at AT&T Stadium, which normally uses artificial grass. This cost runs in the high six figures.

Typically FIFA, much like the International Olympic Committee, prefers to go with cities that offer some form of public transportation, something Arlington famously does not offer.

What Arlington does offer is the biggest stadium. With a listed seating capacity of about 93,000, AT&T Stadium is the largest venue slated to be used in the selected North American cities for the 2026 World Cup.

Officials with the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas and the host organizing committee with the city for the 2026 World Cup all swear they don’t know if these reports are true; they’re only hopeful it is.

“We had a host city meeting with FIFA last week in Washington D.C.; I was there for the U.S. conference of mayors,” Ross said. “(I met) with all of the officials over FIFA-North America.

“We talked about the ‘imminency’ of the announcement. They kept saying, ‘We’re going to do it imminently.’ I’m thinking, ‘What does that mean?’ I went to the leader of FIFA USA and asked them that, and they said, ‘Mayor, within a couple of weeks.’”

It was that afternoon when a report out of England said that Arlington will host the final.

FIFA has only said that the locations for the 104 matches of the 2026 tournament will be unveiled during a press conference/ceremony starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4. That is bye week before Super Bowl Sunday.

The tournament will be played in venues in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The final will be played on Sunday, July 19, 2026.

The last time the World Cup was played in the United States was 1994, when Dallas and the Cotton Bowl were selected for the group stage.

Since AT&T Stadium opened in 2009, the venue has hosted a Super Bowl, NBA All-Star game, college football national championship, boxing matches, WWE’s WrestleMania, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, Metallica and countless other events; only the Super Bowl and, don’t laugh, WrestleMania, offers anywhere near international wattage of a World Cup match.

Arlington is hopeful these early reports are accurate, but officials aren’t completely sure even if the announcement is “imminent.”