Chicago pulls out as potential host city for 2026 World Cup

Clay Curtis
March 19, 2018

Vancouver, BC, said its bid was rejected because it refused to comply with FIFA's requirements that include tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law.

It includes 17 in the United States, such as 2028 Olympic and Paralympic host city Los Angeles, Boston, Houston, New York and Washington D.C. "We are excited to be named a finalist for the opportunity to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and welcome the best soccer players in the world to our stadium", said David Young, Seahawks Senior Vice President of Operations and General Manager of CenturyLink Field.

Seventeen of the cities are in the United States and three each are in Canada and Mexico. The United Bid committee Thursday announced Cincinnati as one of the 23 finalist cities. Cities selected as candidates for the USA include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington DC. Only 3 of them are in Canada: Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton. We believe Minneapolis is well-positioned and well-prepared to host this premier worldwide event, after having successfully executed major sporting events such as Super Bowl LII, the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, the 2016 Ryder Cup, and the 2017 ESPN X Games. "And that's an event we've never seen before in this city", said Doug Hall with Harris County - Houston Sports Authority.

Chicago, which hosted the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup, is the most high-profile of the cities to withdraw, along with Minneapolis, Glendale in Arizona and Vancouver in Canada with officials citing Fifa's "inflexibility" and "financial burden".

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Canada, Mexico, and the United States require no new stadium construction to stage the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

"It would be somewhere between $300 (million) to $500 million of economic impact for the city, and that's a fantastic return on any event that brings global spotlight to a great city like ours", Hall said. "The concept of having existing sustainable facilities is a major benefit, and that's where our bid is clearly in an exceptional place".

"And we adopted and approved the regulations governing the voting for the World Cup at congress".

Chicago and Minneapolis have also now pulled the plug on the tournament, citing the same problem: the demand from Federation Internationale de Football Association for what amounts to a blank cheque.

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