Orlando's Camping World Stadium could host World Cup 2026 matches

North America just won a bid to host the tourney.

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click to enlarge Mexico takes on Costa Rica during an international friendly at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on June 27, 2015. - Camping World Stadium
Camping World Stadium
Mexico takes on Costa Rica during an international friendly at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on June 27, 2015.

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, has awarded North America the 2026 men's World Cup tournament, and the winning bid calls for 60 of the 80 games — including all matches from the quarterfinals onward — to be played on U.S. soil.

That's good news for Floridian soccer fans, since Orlando's Camping World Stadium is one of the 23 possible venues included in the bid (WESH says the list will be narrowed down to 16 venues over the next two years). The last time Orlando and the U.S. hosted a men's World Cup was in 1994.

"We're thrilled that the United bid has been a success and are so excited about the possibility of the City of Orlando serving as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

ESPN says that the bid predicts that bringing the World Cup to North America would produce staggering revenues of $14 billion. Much of that, according to the sports news website, comes from the well-established economy and corporate structure in the United States, which is already set up to handle all aspects of a massive event like a World Cup.

And just so you know, as of the granting of the bid, SBNation still doesn't know whether or not the host countries will have to qualify, or if a singular auto-bid will be given out. The U.S. is hosting most of the matches, and is most likely to end up not needing to qualify for the tournament, but that’s still yet to be determined. FIFA could make one, two, all three, or none of the teams qualify for the tournament.

North America beat Morocco to win this bid, and you can learn more about the voting procedure via prosoccerusa.com. Now if we could just figure out how to get the U.S. Men's National Team to be good enough to get in the tournament.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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