Mile High City among 16 U.S. cities vying to host Men's World Cup matches
DENVER, Oct. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Denver's 2026 World Cup Bid Committee, Tim Howard, Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera welcomed a 20+ member FIFA delegation to Denver for a site visit to learn why Denver is an ideal to city to host World Cup matches in 2026.
During the site visit, Denver's Bid Committee showcased Denver's experience hosting world-class events like the recent MLB All-Star Game and the U.S. Men's Concacaf Nations League Final this summer, among other national and international events. The committee also showcased city highlights such as the technologically advanced Empower Field at Mile High – ranked one of the top 10 stadiums in the country according to ESPN — and Denver's robust soccer fan base.
"We have more than 100,000 youth and adult soccer participants across Colorado, and those soccer fans range from the Western Slope to the Front Range to the eastern plains," said Lt. Governor Primavera. "Those soccer communities represent almost every county in Colorado, and they also represent nearly every ethnicity and language spoken in our state. We know how important this effort is to those communities, and we're proud to work with them to bring World Cup matches here."
"Denver is an incredibly vibrant city that is recognized across the country and around the world as a unique place that combines urban sophistication with outdoor adventure," said Mayor Hancock. "We have the key infrastructure and other amenities already in place to host teams and welcome visitors from around the world."
The diversified nature of the World Cup tournament – 16 cities in North America will host matches – ensures that no one city is fully responsible for the costs of hosting this large-scale event. Additionally, because this is a one-sport, one-stadium event, Empower Field at Mile High would be the only competition venue, meaning Denver already has the infrastructure in place to host World Cup matches.
Denver's Bid Committee shared how hosting World Cup 2026 matches would be an economic win for Denver and the state. A study by Boston Consulting Group reported that World Cup host cities could expect to see an economic impact of up to $360 million. The committee also shared that the costs planned to host the event, such as developing a free Fan Fest for the hundreds of thousands of fans expected to travel to Denver, would be paid for by private funding. The city's planned investments in infrastructure upgrades will benefit not only this event, but local businesses and residents in general, as well.
FIFA officials Victor Montagliani and Colin Smith noted they were impressed with the community spirit around the possibility of bringing World Cup matches to Denver and shared some of the important elements that factor into their decision on selecting host cities. FIFA plans to finalize the list of U.S. cities that will host the games in 2022.
The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world and the most widely viewed and followed sporting event globally. The 2026 FIFA Men's World Cup will be staged in several cities across North America and, for the first time, will include 48 teams – the largest World Cup tournament ever. Sixty of the 80 games – including the entire tournament once it reaches the quarterfinal stage – will be played in the U.S. Denver is the only U.S. city in the Mountain Time Zone that is under consideration to host as many as six games, all of which would be played at Empower Field at Mile High.
Community members who want to support the effort to bring World Cup matches to Denver in 2026 and learn more about Denver's World Cup bid can visit www.denver2026.com.
About Denver Sports Commission
Denver Sports Commission is an official affiliate of VISIT DENVER and serves as a resource for all sporting event organizers interested in Denver as a future location. The mission of Denver Sports Commission is to proactively identify, pursue and attract new regional, national and international sports events and sports-related business opportunities that generate economic impact, engage the community and support Denver's brand as an active, healthy city. More information can be found at VISITDENVER.com/DenverSports.
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SOURCE Denver Sports Commission