The 2026 World Cup Is Coming to North America, Nashville Among the Bid Cities

 In Nashville, Sports, Uncategorized

The 2018 World Cup is set to kick off this week. But, since the United States didn’t make the cut, you can find me sitting out on the lake with a Budweiser and chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the ducks as they swim by. It’s not that I don’t care about the World Cup. It’s just hard to be excited about it when U.S. soccer laid such a disappointing dud this qualifying period. Nonetheless, some major news dropped this morning, as the United States, Canada, and Mexico have teamed up to earn the right to host the 2026 World Cup.

From our friends at WKRN:

North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters chose the three-country bid from co-hosts United States, Canada and Mexico.

Nashville was included in the 23 cities involved in the bid, meaning a World Cup game could be played in Music City.

“This announcement is huge for soccer in the U.S. and maybe even bigger for soccer in Nashville,” said Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation President and CEO Butch Spyridon.

“We are honored to be a part of the U.S. bid package, and we believe Nashville has a legitimate shot at hosting a World Cup event. In addition, it bolsters our future efforts to secure many other soccer events on an ongoing basis.”

Nashville has recently hosted World Cup Qualifying matches and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.

“There’s no bigger sporting event than the World Cup, and Nashville will be ready to host the best soccer players and fans on the planet eight years from now,” Mayor David Briley said.

“We’re looking forward to putting this soccer city on the world’s greatest sporting stage. I’m grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this point.”

The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation will hold a press conference at 9:30 Wednesday morning to discuss the 2026 World Cup.

This is obviously huge news. While we don’t know for sure that our beloved Music City will be included in the games, the fact that it’s even mentioned is good news.

The games that the national team has played in Nissan Stadium have all drawn decent crowds. We just heard yesterday that Nashville SC is setting USL attendance records. Plain and simple, soccer is on the rise in the mid-state.

But, this deal has been a long time coming. I can remember back during the 2010 World Cup, when the United States was making a play for the 2022 games. Nashville was on the list then, too. But, the U.S. ultimately lost out to Qatar, and then that whole bribery thing was brought to light.

I think it’s better for Nashville to wait.

I still don’t think we’re quite ready to become one of the bona fide elite sports towns in the country. But, in eight years?!?! There’s a good chance that we have four major pro sports franchises by then. The MLS is coming to town next season. And, if you buy in to what Buster Olney is selling, Nashville and Portland may be in the running for MLB expansions, too.

We’ll have more people here, as they’re moving here at an exponential rate year over year. And, it’s likely we’ll have a little more money to cover all of the renovations that hosting a World Cup would require. Would it be alright for Nashville to host in 2022? Probably – but I’m more of a “let’s be thorough and safe” kind of guy. I like the wait.

But, it’s encouraging to think back to eight years ago, remember Nashville in the running then, and to see it among the list to this day. I think that bodes well for us.

Man, how cool would it be to show this city off to the world? Pedal taverns, bachelorette parties, and the smell of puke and urine on a Sunday morning on Broadway….the whole shebang. That Music City experience, baby.

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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