The city of Nashville has hosted a Stanley Cup Final, will welcome the 2019 NFL Draft and will soon be home to a Major League Soccer team.
Wednesday in Moscow, it moved one giant step closer to hosting the FIFA World Cup.
The United bid — a collaborative bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico — was chosen by FIFA Congress to host the 2026 World Cup. Nashville is one of 23 potential host cities, of which as many as 16 will be chosen.
“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,” Nashville Mayor David Briley said in a press release. “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.”
Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, said, “This announcement is huge for soccer in the U.S. and maybe even bigger for soccer in Nashville. 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.”
Sixty matches will be held in the United States and 10 apiece in Canada and Mexico. 2026 will be the first time 48 teams will qualify for the World Cup instead of the standard 32.
Nashville will learn its fate as a host city in 2021, when 10 of the 17 nominated U.S. cities will be chosen.
The vote wasn’t close. The United bid received 134 votes to Morocco’s 65 on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.
Here are the cities included in the United bid:
- Kansas City
- Los Angeles
- New York/New Jersey
- San Francisco Bay Area
- Washington, D.C.
- Mexico City