WASHINGTON, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Washington, DC announced its official bid to be a host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026, one of the greatest global sporting events. With Mayor Muriel Bowser's support and leadership, Events DC, the District of Columbia's official convention and sports authority and members of the newly formed Washington, DC FIFA World Cup 2026 Advisory Board have officially launched DC's bid to host World Cup matches. This virtual launch announcement unveils the vision and brand identity for the city's pursuit to bring the FIFA World Cup to DC.
As a global city with deep roots in soccer history paired with world-class infrastructure and a proven ability to host high-profile, international events, Washington, DC is positioned to be an unmatched host city for the historic 2026 FIFA World Cup, for the first time spanning three nations: Mexico, Canada and U.S.
"Right now, as countries around the world continue to respond to this pandemic, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is something we can all look forward to," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for DC — the Sports Capital and District of Champions — to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world."
"As a native Washingtonian, I am proud to be a Co-Chair of DC's official bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. I could not think of a more vibrant, inclusive or passionate soccer city to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026. With our deep soccer roots and diversity, the culture of our city gives us our foundation to successfully highlight the matches and leave a lasting impact on the future of the game," said Bill Hamid, D.C. United player and Co-Chair of the DC2026 Advisory Board.
Chairs of the DC2026 Advisory Board Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Events DC, Mark Ein, founder and CEO of Capital Investment Corporation, Gina Adams of FedEx and Bill Hamid, D.C. United outlined three pillars to DC's unrivaled position to be a host city.
America's Diverse Global Capital – The nation's capital is home to more than 190 embassies and cultural centers. DC is also the hub for international news bureaus in the USA. As a true global city, DC is the definition of urban sophistication with hundreds of culturally diverse theaters and galleries to more than 100 free museums and attractions for visitors to experience.
Host to the World — The District has decades of experience of hosting internationally-recognized events from presidential inaugurations to the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition to world-class hotels, top restaurants from Michelin-star chefs, and vibrant sports and entertainment venues, DC has the infrastructure to welcome over 20 million visitors each year to travel and celebrate with ease. As a leader in innovative infrastructure, DC was named the world's first LEED Platinum city with more LEED-certified buildings per capita than any other city in the country. With three airports, a convenient Metro system, streetcar, bike-share network and plenty of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, DC is accessible – easy to get to and around.
Growing the Game — Washington, DC has hosted some of soccer's biggest moments, and is the only city in America that has been chosen to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1996 Olympic soccer games and the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. DC has also hosted more U.S. National Team games than any other city across the globe and has been the preferred city to host some of US Soccer's most iconic moments like the US Soccer Centennial Celebration match and David Beckham's captivating MLS debut. Soccer stars like Pelé, Mia Hamm, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Johan Cruyff and Eddie Pope have either had career highlights here or called DC home. There are more than 300,000 youth in the vicinity near Washington, DC that participate in soccer daily. DC is committed to building the future of the game across the city with infrastructure and increased dedicated green space to support the growth of soccer participation in the region, as well as accessibility to kids across all corners of the city.
"On behalf of Washington, DC's 2026 FIFA World Cup Advisory Board members, we are thrilled to formally announce DC's bid to host the 2026 games and showcase DC's passionate soccer base to the world. Not only is DC united by the game, but the unity and resilience that our city has shown over the past few months throughout the upending global health pandemic and now with the social injustice movements are prime examples of what it means for a city to host the FIFA World Cup. Beyond the game, the DC community has once again demonstrated its ability to come together across all corners of our culturally rich city to support and celebrate each other, while strengthening our city's bond and future," stated Max Brown, Co-Chair, Washington, DC 2026 FIFA World Cup Advisory Board. "Washington, DC is a world-class experience for visitors of all ages across the globe, with world-leading mobility infrastructure, culturally diverse neighborhoods and attractions, and importantly a proven track record in hosting some of soccer's most iconic globally recognized moments. Hosting the FIFA World Cup in DC will also serve as an economic driver for our city's future – with an estimated economic impact of $500M and the creation of approximately 3,500 job opportunities for residents. Let's not forget – we're not just a world capital, but a sports capital – a city where champions come to win (Washington Capitals, Mystics and Nationals championships) – and we can think of no better place than in DC to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026."
"There could not be a more important time for our city to unite and launch this effort to bring the FIFA World Cup to Washington, DC," said DC2026 Advisory Board Honorary Co-Chair Gina Adams, Senior Vice President at FedEx. "Leaders from across all sectors of our diverse and multi-cultural city are bringing their know-how to help shape and drive our pursuit to be a host city for this iconic global event."
"DC's passion for and commitment to soccer over many decades is second to none," said DC2026 Advisory Board Co-Chair, Mark Ein. "We have hosted World Cup games, Olympic games and more U.S. National Teams than any other city in the world. Now we are ready to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup games with DC's world-class infrastructure and hospitality."
Washington, DC has become the epicenter of both U.S. and international major soccer moments, making the city the unofficial capital of soccer in America. Joining the bid announcement and Advisory Board are key figures of DC's soccer community, including Jason Levien (D.C. United's CEO and Managing General Partner), Eddie Pope (National Soccer Hall of Famer, member of the U.S. Men's National Team and revered D.C. United player), and Brianna Scurry (National Soccer Hall of Famer, FIFA Women's World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold medalist and Washington Spirit coach), who are committed to growing and sustaining the city's position as a leader in the game.
"Being selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup games would be an incredible opportunity. This achievement will confirm what we know – that DC is a tremendous soccer city. We remain excited to showcase DC's incredible fanbase and its vibrant soccer roots on global display and also look forward to working alongside US Soccer and FIFA as we seek to host the 2026 games," said Jason Levien, CEO, Managing General Partner of D.C. United.
Here is a sampling of DC2026 Advisory Board Members:
Gina Adams, SVP, Government and Regulatory Affairs at FedEx
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the United States
Nicole Quiroga, President and CEO, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Eddie Pope, 3x United States FIFA World Cup member, 3x MLS Cup Champion with D.C. United and Octagon North America Soccer Head
Joanna Lohman and Andi Sullivan U.S. Women's National Team and Washington Spirit
Bill Hamid, D.C. United
Brianna Scurry, 4x United States FIFA Women's World Cup member, 2x Olympic gold medal, National Soccer Hall of Fame, Washington Spirit
José Andrés, Spanish-American Chef, Founder of World Central Kitchen
John Falcicchio, Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Max Brown, Chairman, Board of Directors of Events DC
Mark Ein, Founder and CEO of Capital Investment Corp.
Gregory A. O'Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Events DC
Jason Levien, CEO, Managing General Partner of D.C. United
Check out the DC2026.org website to view the full DC2026 Advisory Board list. To learn more about DC's bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and to sign up for news, events and information on being a supporter, visit DC2026.org. Follow DC2026 on social at @DC2026 (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).
ABOUT EVENTS DC: Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation's capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKCampus.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena (www.ESAontheRise.com), all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Events DC), and Twitter (@TheEventsDC).