The Dallas 2026 host committee gave a delayed presentation this morning as part of the bid to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to DFW.
Officials from US Soccer and FIFA were due to congregate in Dallas back in March, but for the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, bid chairman and FC Dallas President Dan Hunt led a pitch via Zoom to FIFA representatives in Zurich on how Dallas can not only replicate its role in the 1994 tournament but expand upon it.
“When I was thinking about building AT&T Stadium, I knew we wanted a great place for 100,000 people to have a unique experience. We’re ready to do what we can to make this World Cup the most special of them all,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones. “I was a close, personal friend of Lamar Hunt. I’m aware of his vision for soccer in the U.S. and I’m proud to be a partner with his family on this bid to host the World Cup.”
The home of the Dallas Cowboys is one of only two venues bidding to host the final along with MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The United 2026 bid book contains a proposal that Dallas host a semifinal as part of a six-game slate, including the final group game for the US Men’s National Team.
The United 2026 bid endorses Dallas to house the International Broadcast Center in Fair Park, a role the city split in 1994. Toyota Stadium and the Cotton Bowl have been put forward as training camp sites. Ross Stewart Soccer Complex in Farmers’ Branch is also in the running as the referees’ base during the tournament. The united bid committee has recommended Dallas or Houston to host the referees, and further recommended Dallas to split the role as host for the FIFA Headquarters with New York.
“We are blessed to have fantastic facilities here and additional ones on slate for the future,” said Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul. “We were very successful in ’94. We want to be base camp for five to 10 different national teams out there, so it’s getting in front of those national teams because they spend a month and a half practicing here, getting acclimated and then flying off to their matches and coming back to call Dallas at their home during World Cup.”
FIFA officials will visit Dallas and other host cities later in the year before hosting duties are announced in 2021.
Host Committee Presenters
FC Dallas President and Dallas 2026 Host Committee Chairman Dan Hunt
Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones
Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul
Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President of Business Operations Chad Estis
AT&T Stadium General Manager Tod Martin
AT&T Stadium Director of Event Booking Delanie Foley
FC Dallas Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Smith
FC Dallas Vice President of Media and Communications Gina Miller
Dir. of Trans. for the N. Cent. TX Council of Governments Michael Morris
Fair Park/Spectra General Manager Peter Sullivan