ATLANTA (CBS46) -- The World Cup is one of the largest sporting events in the world and now the city of Atlanta hopes to score big bringing World Cup matches to the city in 2026.
“It’s significant when you have a global event for a long period of time with visitors from all over the world,” Atlanta Sports Council President Dan Corso said.
Atlanta is one of nine U.S. candidates and is the third stop on a nine-day FIFA tour of cities. The FIFA delegation met with the media and other sports executives Friday inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“Obviously we know that Atlanta has now become a real football city. As in the real football that is played globally,” FIFA Vice President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani said.
The Delegation praised our stadium, World Congress Center, Olympic Park and hotel accommodations. These are all important assets needed to host a World Cup.
“Atlanta has a long history of events and has a fantastic stadium here obviously and we’ll discuss that more in the afternoon. We need to transform the pitch surface from the artificial into an absolute world class grass turf pitch which can live in the environment of a closed or semi-closed if the roof is open environment for a long period of time,” FIFA Chief Tournaments & Events Officer Colin Smith said.
FIFA will also be visiting Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville and Miami as potential host sites. Plus, they will consider cities in Canada and Mexico. If Atlanta is selected, the World Cup could provide the city its largest economic boost ever.
“There are studies out there that show it’s several hundred million dollars as a projection. It all really depends on the number of matches a city hosts,” Corso said.
FIFA will decide on host cities early next year for the 2026 World Cup.