Las Vegas as 2026 FIFA World Cup Site?

Major sporting events and franchises previously avoided Las Vegas over fears of gambling corruption. But these days seem long gone, especially since FIFA is considering Vegas as a potential 2026 World Cup destination. Sin City has already attracted the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, which will move within the next few years. And the brand-new Raiders stadium […]

Major sporting events and franchises previously avoided Las Vegas over fears of gambling corruption. But these days seem long gone, especially since FIFA is considering Vegas as a potential 2026 World Cup destination.

Sin City has already attracted the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, which will move within the next few years. And the brand-new Raiders stadium is key to Vegas’ 2026 World Cup proposal.

America’s United Bid Committee asked Vegas and 43 other cities across North America to state if they’re interested in hosting the world’s biggest soccer (football) event. Steve Hill, executive director of Nevada’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development, spoke with the Las Vegas Review Journal on the matter.

“They contacted the governor, the Raiders and myself to assess our initial interest and obviously we are interested,” said Hill. “We decided to pursue what would be great opportunity for Las Vegas and Nevada.”

Raiders president Marc Badain is also excited about the games coming to Vegas. “It would be a huge win for the community,” he texted.

FIFA will Decide in June 2018

The United Bid Committee and Morocco are the only countries that have submitted bids to host the 2026 World Cup. And FIFA will make their final decision on the host site next June.

The US last hosted the World Cup in 1994. If the United Bid Committee wins, 12 cities across Canada, Mexico, and the US would hold World Cup matches.

The United Bid Committee will soon review cities that have declared interest in hosting games. They’ll then issue their desired list to FIFA by late September.

Specifications for Hosting World Cup Matches

Cities that want to hold World Cup games must have a stadium with a seating capacity of at least 40,000 seats for group stage matches. And they must be able to seat 80,000 to host the opening and/or final game.

The upcoming Vegas Raiders stadium could host group stage events because their capacity will range from 65,000 to 72,000 (max).

Vegas Gambling Fears have Subsided

The reason why sporting events and franchises avoided Vegas in the past is because they feared match-fixing. After all, Vegas is home to over 100 casinos and dozens of sportsbooks.

But with the widespread prevalence of online gaming, many sports organizations have cooled on the potential for match-fixing. This now makes Vegas a relevant sports destination.

 

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