Canada, Mexico and the United States have decided to bid together for the 2026 soccer World Cup which economically makes an awful lot of sense. The World Cup needs as many as 12 different sites but Qatar is only building eight for the 2022 event. The US can easily offer East Rutherford, NJ, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, Arlington, Texas and other places. Canada has facilities in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Mexico can suggest Mexico City, Monterey and Tijuana just down the road from San Diego, even if there is a big, beautiful wall between the two countries.
The soccer federations of the three countries think they can co-exist and by 2026, there will be another person sitting in the Oval Office. It is not exactly a state secret that the Trump Administration has major differences with Mexico along with various soccer federations around the world because of immigration policies. The governing body of soccer’s World Cup is acknowledging that hosting the World Cup has become very expensive and that many of the venues for the 2002 South Korea-Japan matches were razed after the event and many of the 2014 Brazilian venues are white elephants.
There is also the cloud over FIFA because of various bribery allegations in World Cup bidding. The United States Justice Department and Swiss probes have investigated World Cup media rights and 2014, 2018 and 2022 events bidding.
FIFA plans to award the 2026 World Cup to the top bidder in 2020. Cities and countries are shying away from bidding on the mega world events like the Commonwealth Games, World Cup and the Olympics. Boston, Hamburg, Rome, Budapest and Toronto didn’t want the 2024 Summer Olympics, a canton in Switzerland voted against holding the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics.
If nothing else, the North America plan is less costly. Event expenditures have become a major sports issue.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.