Houston still in the running to host World Cup in 2026

Houston is one of more than 30 cities across North America that's still in the running to host the 2026 World Cup.

2026 is the year Houston has a chance to host the World Cup.

This week KHOU 11 News learned Houston is one of more than 30 cities across North America that's still in the running.

City officials formed a committee just after Super Bowl 51 ended to figure out how to bring the Super Bowl of soccer to the Bayou City.

Houston leaders believe it's a good match (pun intended) for several reasons.

For starters, the city has done this before.

Super Bowl 51 is most fresh on people's minds but it's important not to forget about the NCAA Men's Final Four last April.

Houston also hosted matches for the 2016 Copa America soccer tournament at NRG Stadium in June 2016.

In total, that meant three major events in a calendar year.

"Houston is a big event town," said Chris Canetti, president of business operations for the Houston Dynamo. "It's proven that it can host big events."

Houston has 8,000 hotel rooms downtown.

The Marriott Marquis was built before the Super Bowl and expanded the footprint of rooms. According to tourism officials, there are a total of 84,000 hotel rooms available across the greater Houston area.

There's also a major base of volunteers - there were 10,000 of them during the Super Bowl.

Tourism officials say they still have this list of people who they say were and will be crucial in attracting major events down the road.

"When the biggest event in the world comes to the country and there's an opportunity to get it in your city, you want to have it," Canetti said. "It would be absolutely amazing for soccer in Houston, for the community and for the Dynamo if we could land the World Cup."

The Dynamo's president acknowledges the competition is stiff with 25 other US cities on the list under consideration.

Representatives from all 32 potential North American cities will be in Houston in November to work with the bid committee. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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