Previous World Cup playing field. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Previous World Cup playing field. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Seattle’s World Cup bid gains county support

The council gave its unanimous support to the City of Seattle’s bid to be a host city of the 2026 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup.

  • Saturday, March 10, 2018 9:00am
  • Sports

The following is a press release from King County.

The Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous support to the City of Seattle’s bid to be a host city of the 2026 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. The legislation comes on the heels of last month’s action at the Seattle City Council to declare its own support for the effort.

“The Puget Sound region has a history rich in its support for and love of soccer,” said Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer. “It’s incredibly exciting that Seattle is in the running as a final host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and I’m thrilled that the Metropolitan King County Council has embraced this bid, which only strengthens Seattle’s position as a premier location for the highest levels of soccer competition in the world.”

“King County would be a great place to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” said the measure’s prime sponsor Reagan Dunn. “Our incredible Seattle Sounders have provided a great fan base and I would encourage our local jurisdictions to support this opportunity to boost and grow our local economy.”

The legislation pledges the county’s collaboration in highlighting Seattle and the rest of the region as an attractive host for one of the world’s premier sporting events.

“Seattle and King County are poised to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “We have seen the Winter Olympics bring people and nations together, despite their political differences. Together, with our west coast partners, we can show King County welcomes the world while showing off all we have to offer.”

In October 2017, the United Bid Committee announced the full list of cities advancing to the next round of the bidding process. Seattle was one of 25 cities in the United States, out of 32 potential cities in North America, selected to advance.

“Our metropolitan region is home to a passionate soccer community, woven together by generations of homegrown fans as well as fans from across the globe,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I proudly support the local effort to bring the world’s game to King County in 2026 and look forward to building our case for the United Bid Committee and FIFA.

Recreational soccer is one of the most popular sports in King County. The King County’s Parks and Recreation Division has more than twenty soccer fields in its athletic field inventory, which are used by amateur youth and adult soccer teams from across King County.

“We are excited for Seattle to be a part of the United Bid to bring the World’s game to the United States, Canada and Mexico,” said Ralph Morton, Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission. “With an overall viewership of 3.2 billion globally, tens of thousands of visitors and a community inspired by the world’s greatest athletes, hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The region also has a soccer fan base that has attracted large, enthusiastic crowds for professional matches since the arrival of the Seattle Sounders in 1976. Along with winning a Major League Soccer Cup in 2016, the Seattle Sounders FC continues to break MLS attendance records since the team took the field in 2009.

FIFA will narrow down the final host country or countries for 2026 in June.

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