Why Nashville thinks it's got better than a 50-50 shot to be a World Cup host city in 2026

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Day 2 of the 2018 World Cup, I’ve been pondering Nashville’s chances to be one of the American host cities for the 2026 World Cup.


While the U.S. combo bid with Canada and Mexico (known as United 2026) for a 48-team tournament outlined the number of games in the states (60 with 10 each in the other two nations) and the number of host cities in America, FIFA can make any adjustments to that it likes.

Nashville is one of 17 US candidates, but Atlanta is one of two cities the U.S. Soccer bid put forth to host a semifinal. Would FIFA want two nearby Southeastern cities hosting games?

Butch Spyridon, CEO of the city’s convention and visitors bureau, doesn’t think Atlanta will foil a Nashville bid.

He said overcoming the perception that Nashville isn’t a soccer town is bigger than competing with Atlanta.

“Until they come, until they witness, then they flip,” he said. “I think we’ve got better than a 50-50 chance. I like our chances.”


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