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Houston makes final push to host World Cup 2026, FIFA decision expected in months

Houston's 2026 World Cup Bid Committee says hosting 6 games over a few weeks would be the equivalent of 6 Super Bowls and an economic impact of more than $1 billion.

HOUSTON — Houston is trying to land a coveted spot as a World Cup host city in 2026.

The bid process has been underway for nearly three years, and now the city's host committee is gearing up for one final push ahead of FIFA's big decision.

"Our city has had a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week focus on this," said Chris Canetti, President of Houston's 2026 World Cup Bid Committee.

Houston is one of 17 finalists fighting for a spot.

"We can't take anything for granted," Canetti said. "We have to assume we're outside looking in."

Canetti says Houston should be a no-brainer. Houston has the infrastructure in place already including stadiums, practice facilities, hotels and a loyal fan base to make it a success.

"Houston has hosted more major sporting events since 2004 than any other of the finalists, from Super Bowls to the Final Four to major international soccer matches," Canetti said.

Former Houston Dynamo star, now owner of Pitch 25, Brian Ching, has seen Houston's soccer fever up close.

"One day you'll see the Brits, one day you'll see the French, the Germans, Colombians, Brazilians, Mexicans, you name it," Ching said. "That's our city in a nutshell."

The committee says if you thought the Super Bowl was big in 2017, you haven't seen anything yet.

"We're going to have six games in sold out NRG Stadium," Canetti said. "Imagine having six Super Bowls in Houston over the course of multiple weeks."

Experts estimate it's a potential economic impact of $1.3 billion.

"That would be transformative for the city," Ching said.

FIFA is expected to visit Houston at some point the next three months. It should announce its decision within the next 6 to 10 months.

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