Residents Say Philadelphia Hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup Would Be Great For Local Economy – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is in the running to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. More than a dozen cities are competing for 10 spots in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Philadelphia is one of 16 U.S. cities vying to host World Cup matches in 2026, and a big part of the pitch to FIFA is the pitch at Lincoln Financial Field.

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That’s how soccer fans refer to the playing field.

The pristine natural grass is ideal for world-class soccer stars, and with nearly 70,000 seats, the stadium itself is plenty big enough.

The Linc has hosted some of the biggest soccer events in the past, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, The Copa América Centenario, and the Women’s World Cup.

Not to mention, Philadelphia is full of soccer fans with crowds that consistently show up for major soccer matches every year.

We caught up with a couple of those fans who are in favor of hosting because the World Cup would bring a boost to the local economy.

“When you host a big event of that nature, it’s always great for the economy and it brings a lot into the city and I think it’d be great for the city of Philly from a socioeconomic standpoint,” Abdulla Khawhaa said. 

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“By the people, the people coming. I know the stadium is gonna be jam-packed. They’re gonna be buying stuff. Hotels and Ubers and Lyfts and cabs,” Herman Boulware said.

Philadelphia Soccer 2026, the group that put together the World Cup bid, says the city itself is well-equipped to host the World Cup.

“We’ll also be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the United States, the Major League All-Star Game will be here, so this will be a major opportunity for Philadelphia to have tourism and hospitality really bounce back in a post-COVID environment,” Meg Kane, the manager of bid operations for Philadelphia Soccer 2026, said.

Between the public transit system and the hotels and the city’s track record of hosting major events, officials say we’re ready to host the world’s biggest sporting event.

There will be a watch party Thursday afternoon at Love Park starting at 3 p.m. leading up to the big announcement at 5 p.m.

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Of the 16 cities that are competing, 10-12 of them are expected to be named host cities.

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