As the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to wrap up this upcoming weekend, North Texas is already preparing for the next international soccer tournament. Next up? Getting ready for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
In preparation for the major sporting event, AT&T Stadium — home to the Dallas Cowboys — is planning major renovations worth upwards of $295 million.
Among the renovations, the Arlington-based stadium will be looking to complete ahead of the World Cup includes refreshing the stadium’s premium spaces and upgrading the technology and back-end services.
According to KERA, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross is working with city leaders and the Dallas Sports Commission, an organization that helps to attract major sporting events to the Dallas area, to plan for the future soccer event.
One of the preparations includes the opening of the 800-room Loews Arlington Hotel that will be located between the AT&T Stadium and the professional baseball park Globe Life Field, according to Mayor Ross.
“The World Cup gives us an opportunity to show what we’re about,” Mayor Ross said in an interview with KERA. “To show that, regardless of the diversity, regardless of the different countries that these teams are playing from, you can come here to Arlington, Texas, and have the best World Cup ever.”
Monica Paul, the executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, told KERA that she estimates that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will bring the North Texas region an economic of $400 million per soccer match, in addition to providing a unique cultural experience to the area.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime, definitely a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Paul said in an interview with KERA. “Even if you’re not a soccer fan, it’s very hard to not be immersed in everything that the World Cup is.”
Sharing in Paul’s sentiments, Dan Hunt, the president of Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise FC Dallas, told KERA that he projects the overall impact of the World Cup to bring about billions of dollars for North Texas.