FIFA officials will visit the Bay Area this weekend as part of the region's bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The San Francisco 49ers will facilitate a tour of Levi's Stadium Friday and Saturday and will be joined by city mayors and local companies to showcase the area.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf are expected to be there as well as companies like Airbnb, Google, Levi's, Lyft, Peet's Coffee, Salesforce and others.
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Leaders will highlight the Bay Area's rich history of soccer and "make the case for the Bay Area as a natural host for one of the largest sporting events in the world," a statement read.
If the Bay Area is chosen as a host, other venues will benefit too. PayPal Park and San Jose State University may be used as a training facility and host hospitality events. With more than a quarter-million people expected to attend games, local hotels and restaurants will also fill up fast.
"The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world," San Jose Earthquakes Executive Vice President Jed Mettee said. "It brings together people from all backgrounds and increases the number of people watching the sport and can have a huge impact on the Earthquakes' future."
In 1994, the Bay Area hosted various FIFA World Cup matches, and the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal took place at Stanford University.
“The 49ers have been proud stewards of the Bay Area for decades, and we’ve seen time after time how one of the most diverse regions in the world gets excited about major sporting events. The excitement and community spirit unique to the Bay Area has been directed at soccer for generations, going back to the FIFA World Cup matches the area hosted in 1994 and 1999, which were a huge success," Al Guido, 49ers President and Bay Area 2026 Board President, said.
“The South Bay has a rich history in hosting international soccer and boasts the world-class venues needed to get the job done in 2026," Liccardo said. "We also have the infrastructure and passion needed to leverage the economic boost the event would bring to the area for the long term development of soccer. I look forward to meeting with FIFA officials this month and hope to be there in the stands at Levi’s Stadium in 2026."
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted across 16 cities in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The host cities will be announced in early 2022.
More information can be found on bayarea2026.com.