FIFIA World Cup trophy held up against the sky

The Potential Impact the 2026 World Cup Will Have on DFW

by Faizah Fatima, Islamic School of Irving

From the historic success of Morocco, to Argentina’s victory in the World Cup, it is undeniable that the 2022 World Cup left an indelible impact on the sporting world. By the end of the World Cup, Qatar gained immense publicity, a total of 3.4 million people attended the games and generated $7.5 billion in revenue.

Fast forward a few months to June 16, 2022, when it was announced that Dallas would be one of the 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) is set to host nine games, the most from the 16 cities, at AT&T Stadium, one of the largest dome stadiums globally. Four out of the nine games will be knockout-stage games, including one of the semi-finals. This World Cup will make soccer history by hosting 48 teams and 104 matches, making it the most extensive tournament yet. With stakes being higher than ever, what does this mean for DFW?

To begin, the World Cup is estimated to generate a $400 million economic impact potentially creating 3,000 jobs. Dallas served as a host city back in 1994 and generated $300 million in revenue, about $600 million today. This anticipated economic surge in 2026 is precisely what Dallas needs to stimulate and expand the Metroplex today. From another economic standpoint, the potential influx of international tourists will undoubtedly be noticed. Dallas and Fort Worth are both in the running to host a fan festival. This live watch party is projected to bring 100,000 people a day for 35 days straight. These tourists translate to not just an increase in popularity, but also promise an increase in profit for businesses and hotels in the area. Furthermore, FIFA, for the first time, is allowing for host cities to assemble a local organizing committee. These committees have the ability to sell sponsorships and include representatives from various parts of DFW. Overall, it is apparent that the local businesses will be gaining an exponential profit, just as much as the city itself.

Besides an economic gain, communities in DFW anticipate greater community engagement. As stated before, back in 1994 Dallas was a host city for the World Cup. After the final, many players stayed back to start clubs and camps for the youth of the time. Two years later an MLS team was formed; FC Dallas. Tying back to the rich soccer history in Dallas, many people hope for children to get more encouraged and involved. Fostering participation is one of the things many people hope for in order to build community engagement and spirit throughout the World Cup.

Lastly, why DFW? As stated before, DFW is home to the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium and FC Dallas. The stadium has established itself as one of the most substantial sports venues in the world. It has the ability to seat over 90,000 fans. It has a retractable roof to prevent any weather issues and is located next to Texas Live!, Globe Life, and Choctaw stadium. All of which can additionally seat 100,000 people to participate in watch parties and fan festivals. In regard to FC Dallas, it is one of the most passionate soccer communities and recognized as one of the best in the nation. North Texas serves as one of the most ardent soccer communities, making it the best fit for the world cup. Additionally North Texas is home to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the second busiest commercial airport. It has established itself as one of the top international airports, ready to accommodate the influx of tourists and fans coming to DFW.

DFW is excited to host the World Cup again, as it did back in 1994. The potential profound impacts on the economy and community have the spirited soccer community eagerly anticipating 2026.

 

The views and options expressed in this article are the student’s alone and are not endorsed or reflect the views of the nonprofit, nonpartisan, World Affairs Council of Dallas Fort/Worth.