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Seattle still in the running as North America wins FIFA World Cup bid

Seattle could be a host city, along with cities in Mexico and Canada

Fans attending a World Cup match between South Africa and Mexico in 2010.
fstockfoto/Shutterstock

North America—the United States, Canada, and Mexico—just won a collective bid to host the FIFA World Cup. And with Seattle on a shortlist of 23 cities to host games it looks more and more likely like the city will be participating.

The 17 potential host cities in the US, which also include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, and Boston, will be pared down to just 10.

If soccer enthusiasm is a factor in selection, things look good for Seattle. At just a decade old, the Seattle Sounders won their first MLS cup in 2016 and contended for the title again just this last season. That comes along with a rabid fan base: In 2015, Sounders fans broke MLS attendance records with average game attendance of more than 44,000.

In a statement, King County Executive Dow Constantine said he’d be pushing for Seattle’s inclusion.

“I, along with many others, will strongly make the case that our metropolitan region has the world-class venues, transit infrastructure, accommodations, and passionate soccer community to make this a success,” said Constantine. ”Generations of homegrown fans, and enthusiasts from across the globe, are eager for our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome the world’s game in 2026.”

“We’re ready,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted. ”There’s no doubt Seattle is the best soccer town in the US.”

“Ready” might be a little strong—service industry labor standards and police overtime, Seattle Met points out, are an issue the city would have to address, along with hotel capacity, which is just over 36,000 in King County. But we’d have eight years to plan.