The joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup could be the most profitable tournament in the competition’s history.
The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world, ahead of even the Olympic Games, and has a considerable economic impact on the country hosting it, boosting tourist revenues and public infrastructure programs, and creating jobs.
Held every four years, the most recent tournaments, Brazil 2014 and South Africa 2010, saw the countries involved enjoy billions of dollars of revenue, mostly in tourist dollars.
The 2018 Russia World Cup is poised to make a record-breaking $6 billion, showing this could be the biggest tournament in history.
However, a North American edition is still likely be the biggest financial success ever, especially in an economy that generates over $20 trillion in annual GDP and is home to over 450 million people.
Both the U.S. and Mexico have hosted World Cups before — in 1994, and 1970 and 1986, respectively — yet with world soccer governing body FIFA set to increase the field of teams from 32 to 48 in 2026, joint bids between nations are likely to become increasingly common.
North American soccer officials are pitching the bid as an opportunity for the biggest, most culturally diverse, and profitable World Cup ever, one which would combine Mexico’s rich professional soccer history and culture with the lucrative consumer markets of the U.S. and Canada.
“We’ve got everything in place between the three countries in terms of infrastructure: hotels, stadiums, transportation — in a way that no other region of the world could do it, especially for an expanded World Cup,” president of U.S. Soccer and bid chairman, Sunil Gulati, said earlier this month.
FIFA chose a Mexico-US-Canada World Cup because of the undoubted logistical and financial benefits the tournament hosted in North America can have.
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