With our 250th post, we want to plug the Washington, DC bid for becoming a 2026 World Cup venue in the year the USA will be celebrating its 250th national anniversary. What a time to be watching a match in DC!
As a 1994 World Cup attendee at RFK Stadium, I got to see the Netherlands defeat Saudi Arabia in a surprisingly competitive Group F match which ended 2-1. Then I saw Spain defeat Switzerland 3-0 in an exciting Round of 16 match which the Spaniards eventually dominated, scoring at the sixteenth, seventy-fourth, and eighty-sixth minutes. It was an unforgettable experience: an honor and privilege to have my city host the cup and a thrill to attend those two matches.
As everyone knows, DC is a world-class city doing all it does on an international scale, and it clearly meets all of the requirements for a World Cup tournament host. With 180 embassies in the city the international flavor abounds—in most cultural aspects, in its cuisine and music, and its large soccer fan base. As a city that hosts major football, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis tournaments and a sports culture that boasts a Super Bowl champ, a Stanley Cup champ, an NBA champ, a World Series champ, and an MLS champ, DC does sports in a big way.
Imagine jumbotrons on the national mall, with thousands of fans surrounded by our nation’s monuments and symbols while on the screen the best football players on the planet compete, and on the grass surrounding those large screens the best fans, from all parts of the globe, come together to cheer their heroes and our sport.
The nation’s capital is the epicenter of youth soccer in the area where over 300,000 kids play the sport. Aside from being the home to DC United and Washington Spirit, the city has already proven itself as a World Cup host in 1994, a Women’s World cup host in 1999 and 2003, and a 1996 Olympic soccer games venue.
From an infrastructure standpoint, DC is hard to beat. There are over 100,000 hotel rooms in the combined District and Maryland-Virginia suburbs region. The city boasts the nation’s third-largest passenger rail transit system and has three major international airports within an hour’s drive of the city’s center.
Any fan making a pilgrimage to DC in 2026 will not only enjoy the World Cup but also our nation’s 250th birthday celebration which will by definition be centered around the capital. DC was meant to host the 2026 World Cup and FIFA and all others involved in deciding where to play games that summer should know the decision is a shoo-in!