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Houston wins bid to host prestigious 2026 FIFA World Cup games

Houston wins bid to host prestigious 2026 FIFA World Cup games

NRG Park Renderings March 2014 NRG Stadium
NRG Stadium will host the games. Photo courtesy of NRG Park

International football fans, unite. Houston is a 2026 FIFA World Cup host city. The news, announced Thursday, June 16, caps a four-year effort by The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee to bring the tournament here.

NRG Stadium will be one of 16 North American venues to host four to six games of the prestigious international football tournament. Canada and Mexico each will host three matches.

Houston 2026 organizers, which include a list of key local players, pitched Houston’s cultural diversity and NRG’s elite stadium status to the FIFA selection committee.

As soccer fans are well aware, the World Cup is a month-long tournament pitting elite and burgeoning sides. Powerhouse teams such as Brazil, Italy, Spain, and France face off against smaller nations such as Ghana and Peru in a showdown watched by billions across the globe — many who take vacations to travel or view the action at home.

Notably, pro soccer’s megastars such as the chiseled Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi return to their birth countries to compete, much like the Olympics.

For some perspective on the games’ scope, these World Cup matches could equate to Houston hosting six Super Bowls, by the sheer numbers.

Houston is no stranger to the big stage; it has already played host to multiple Super Bowls and NCAA Men’s Final Four championships — with one coming next year. Expect a slew of developments, activations, and events as the World Cup nears.

Aside from Houston, Arlington, Texas was also named as a 2026 host city.