Houston Starting Effort to Become Soccer City

Houston has a chance of hosting several games in the 2026 World Cup. But to get there, officials say they need to turn up the soccer enthusiasm.

Even when the focus is on soccer, the – in the United States – more popular football is in the background.


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Football is big in Houston. Futbol – not so much.

But that has to change if Houston wants to be selected as a host city for the 2026 World Cup.

"Every soccer match we do over the next 24 months will be viewed from the lens of FIFA, U.S. Soccer and how Houston responds to everything we do," Doug Hall, vice president of special projects at the Harris County Houston Sports Authority, said.

The United States will host the prestigious soccer tournament together with Mexico and Canada.

The 10 U.S. host cities, out of a pool of 17 finalists, will be announced in summer 2020. Each city will host six World Cup games over the course of a month.

Hall said the impact for Houston, economic and otherwise, would be comparable to hosting six super bowls.

To reach that goal, the Sports Authority will be forming an organizing committee that will work on raising soccer's profile in Houston during the next two years.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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