ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando was not among the cities selected to host games for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
After years of working to prepare a bid, community leaders and soccer fans gathered for a watch party at Camping World Stadium, only to be disappointed by the official announcement by FIFA.
What You Need To Know
- Orlando misses out in bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup games
- It was one of seven North American hopeful cities left out
- Two cities in Canada, three in Mexico and 11 U.S. metro areas won bids
- Orlando had hosted games in the 1994 FIFA World Cup
After Orlando learned the news, Mayor Buddy Dyer said he was proud of the way the community had rallied around the bid to lure the games back to Central Florida, despite his disappointment.
The U.S. cities selected were Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. Three cities in Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey, and two in Canada; Toronto and Vancouver, were also chosen.
In all, more than 20 cities in three countries were finalists in the running to host games. The other cities that did not make the cut were Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Pasadena, Calif.; Washington, D.C./Baltimore and Edmonton.
Camping World Stadium already has hosted soccer matches during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Since the 1994 World Cup, Orlando has grown considerably in population and in its soccer fan base.
Central Florida leaders had said they hoped to bring back the energy, festivities and visitors that the 1994 games brought to the area. Tourism experts had predicted that the event could have brought 350,000 visitors and had a $600 million to $800 million economic impact in the region.