D.C. tossed its jersey onto the field Tuesday and launched a bid to host the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
In a release announcing the move, Events DC said Washington is “positioned to be an unmatched host city for the historic 2026 FIFA World Cup, for the first time spanning three nations: Mexico, Canada and U.S.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the global sporting event is something people can look forward to as the world responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
“And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for D.C. — the Sports Capital and District of Champions — to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world,” Bowser said in the release.
An advisory board has been created to spearhead the bidding process. Bowser and D.C. United’s Bill Hamid are co-chairs.
“As a native Washingtonian, I am proud to be a co-chair of D.C.’s official bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Hamid said. “I could not think of a more vibrant, inclusive or passionate soccer city to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026.
“With our deep soccer roots and diversity, the culture of our city gives us our foundation to successfully highlight the matches and leave a lasting impact on the future of the game.”
The advisory board also includes celebrity chef José Andrés as well as former and current players Eddie Pope, Joanna Lohman and Andi Sullivan of the U.S. Women’s National Team and Washington Spirit.
Spokesperson Ashley Forrester said FedExField, the home stadium for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, is the proposed venue for matches.
The bid features multiple training sites, including D.C. United’s Audi Field, The Fields at RFK Campus, Trinity University and the Maryland SoccerPlex. Lastly, the tournament’s fan fest events will occur on the National Mall.
FIFA has a detailed document online that highlights the bidding process to host the World Cup. The organization, which has been dogged by corruption scandals, says infrastructure makes up 70% of a city’s overall score.
More information and the full DC2026 Advisory Board list is available online.