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'Dallas is ready': North Texas leaders, fans cheer selection as a 2026 FIFA World Cup host venue

AT&T Stadium in the entertainment district of Arlington, Texas.
Kailey Broussard
/
KERA News
Arlington's AT&T Stadium was selected as one of 16 hosts sites for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Cheers erupted in the AT&T Discovery District in downtown Dallas as North Texas soccer fans received their wish: Arlington’s AT&T Stadium will be a host site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The region is one of 16 across the United States to be the site for the first World Cup matches to play in the country since 1994. The tournament will bring a lot of firsts to the sport: the 2026 World Cup will be the first to host 48 teams and the first with three countries serving as cohosts.

North Texas mayors told an audience of fans in downtown Dallas that the region has proven itself as a world sports stage—and have worked together to make it so.

Arlington Mayor Jim Ross says one of his city’s greatest assets is its neighbors. The city between Dallas and Fort Worth would be the central hub for games at AT&T Stadium.

“None of us could do this on our own,” Ross said.

Arlington's entertainment district has been gaining momentum with new developments and opportunities to host major events during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson says his city is a welcoming and inclusive city.

“I want to make sure that folks know that Dallas is enthusiastic, but more importantly, Dallas is ready to be on the world stage," Johnson says.

Dallas Cowboys President Jerry Jones says before the announcement that he’s dreamed about hosting events like the World Cup for decades. He recalls dreaming of a venue of his own while visiting the Astrodome.

“As it would have it … you could put five of those damn Astrodomes in AT&T Stadium today,” Jones says.

Host cities could bring in $400 million dollars and 3,000 new jobs into the city, according to Dallas Sports Commission estimates.

Got a tip? Email Kailey Broussard at kbroussard@kera.org. You can follow Kailey on Twitter @KaileyBroussard.

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Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.