Queen City could host World Cup matches


Look out, the Queen City could be the site of the next World Cup…well a group stage match at least.

The 2026 World Cup is set to be divided across three countries, Mexico, the US, and Canada. There are expected to be 16 venues between the three countries that will host a match. Eleven of which are expected to be located within the US. Cincinnati is putting in a bid to be the host of a group stage, and FIFA, while staying non-committal, is impressed.

FIFA officials will not decide the official lineup of cities until at least June of 2022. Cincinnati is going up at least 12 other cities vying for a World Cup bid. If Cincinnati should become a host city, TQL stadium (home of FC Cincinnati) would not be the location where the match would be played, but rather Paul Brown Stadium. TQL, while a beautiful, sleek stadium, does not meet the capacity or amenity requirements to host soccer’s biggest competition.

FIFA is keeping in mind other factors as well though. One thing that the Queen City has going for it, is the geographical location. Cincinnati is nestled in the heart of the Midwest, and is surrounded by a host of other big cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, and Louisville. The location of Cincinnati will allow for easy and quick flight access for teams and spectators alike.

Fans March to TQL stadium prior to FC Cincinnati Match. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

There are many factors that go into deciding whether a city is worthy of being a host for soccer’s biggest stage. One of the factors is authenticity. FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani says that the city of Cincinnati is full of it, and is a driving factor in the decision making process. The Committee takes a holistic view of a city before coming to a conclusion on whether that city is suitable or not, and culture is a big point of emphasis.

The Queen city is preparing for the potential of hosting a few matches. This Friday, November 12th, the US men’s soccer team will play in a World Cup qualifying match against Mexico at TQL stadium.

Cincinnati has economic interest in hosting the games as well. Estimates show that being a host city could generate in excess of five billion USD. The city could potentially welcome 40,000 more jobs simply from hosting.

Only time will tell if the Queen City is given the shot of a lifetime to be a World Cup hosting city.