NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville could be getting closer to hosting one of the largest sporting events in the world.
The 2026 World Cup will be held in North America in 16 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Should Nashville host a 2026 World Cup match?
Nashville is one of 23 cities being considered by FIFA to host World Cup games.
“We are assuming we are in last place and we told FIFA we will outwork everyone to show you we are the right choice,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. “We have improved our standing and we have a legitimate shot.”
Music City is on a short list to potentially host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
If Nashville wins the bid, the World Cup matches would be held at Nissan Stadium, which can hold over 69,000 fans and could expand to 75,000 fans.
Nashville has hosted international cup and U.S. national team matches in the past as well as the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2017 and 2019.
Nashville’s success at hosting big events, such as the NFL Draft, NHL All-Star Game and Women’s Basketball Final Four, has also enhanced the city’s reputation as a host city.
“The goal is always to get to a point where we are in position to say yes or now, and not have to be out begging to take a look at Nashville,” Spyridon told News4 after the NFL Draft in April 2019. “The draft definitely helped in that regard.”
Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp CEO Butch Spyridon said Nashville’s reputation to host world-class events took a giant leap forward thanks to the NFL Draft.
FIFA will be organizing one-on-one virtual meetings with each stadium to discuss infrastructural aspects in February and will launch targeted virtual discussions with each candidate city in April. FIFA and the host associations hope to do venue visits in the candidate host cities in July 2021. FIFA hopes to have the host cities appointed by the last quarter of 2021.