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SA hopes to score site for 2026 FIFA World Cup

SA Sports, city officials working on possible bid for 2026 World Cup

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio appears to be making a play to become a site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup should it be awarded to North America.

Russ Bookbinder, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports, spoke about a potential proposal for the World Cup after it was announced that the World Collegiate Soccer Championship is headed to the Alamo City.

The WCSC matches the best collegiate teams in the U.S. with the best collegiate teams from abroad. It will be played in San Antonio for the next five years.

Bookbinder said events like the WCSC, the recent Gold Cup match featuring Mexico, various friendlies at the Alamodome and the push by San Antonio FC to become a Major League Soccer franchise have greatly built the resume of soccer in San Antonio in recent years, and the city was invited to make a bid.

“We’ve been invited, our team, the city of San Antonio, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Visit San Antonio will all be working hard in putting together our portion of a bid for the 2026 World Cup, which will be a united bid between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.” 

Bookbinder said the group will be putting together the initial documents to be included in a possible bid. He did not go into detail what those documents included or a possible timeline. 

The 2026 FIFA World Cup has not been awarded a host, but CONCACAF announced in April it would submit a joint bid that included the U.S., Mexico and Canada. No other soccer confederation around world has announced it will submit a bid.

If North America is awarded the 2026 World Cup, it would be the first World Cup to be hosted by three countries and the first to feature 48 nations. 

CONCACAF officials announced 60 of 80 matches would be played in the United States. All matches from the quarterfinals forward, including the final, would take place in the U.S.  

“What SS&E is doing to try to move to the MLS level, what we have done in the Alamodome, all of those add up to where now you’re in the mix of somebody saying we’d like you to bid on this,” Bookbinder said. “That collective impact over time helps.”

Bookbinder emphasized the WCSC helps secure San Antonio in having a story to tell about what the city can do for international soccer.

“We are grateful to be a part of this,” Bookbinder said. “We really want to see soccer continue its trajectory in San Antonio." 

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