DENVER (CBS4) – The City of Denver and its partners are excited to be in the running to be one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup. Empower Field at Mile High can hold more than 70,000 fans, but city officials say Denver is prepared to host thousands more and showcase what the Mile High City has to offer and give businesses a boost.
“World Cup, we want you here!” said Tami Door, President & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Door explained the DDP is helping with the pitch to get the World Cup to Denver in 5 years. She said from the city’s accessibility to accommodations, our love of sports and welcoming atmosphere, Denver is a prime spot.
“We want to look at everything from transportation, hotel opportunities, quality of life, quality of experience in our city,” she said. “And we’ve done it before. We have proven ourselves with large scale events like the DNC where we can open up our center city and yet engage our entire region, our entire state in the festivities and the power of the event that we’re hosting.”
Denver recently hosted the MLB All Star Game, attracting baseball fans from around the nation. The World Cup would bring in soccer fanatics from across the globe, plus an estimated 3.5 billion people would tune in to the matches. That puts a lot of eyeballs on Denver, not to mention the potential economic boost.
“Over $360 million is expected to impact our city if we were to be able to host the World Cup,” Door told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Yet Door added the opportunity is about much more than money.
“Yes, we can measure this in dollars,” she said. “Yes, we can measure it in visibility around the globe, but most importantly, Denver measures it with pride.”
Denver is one of 17 cities hoping to play host for the 2026 World Cup, and FIFA is expected to pick the final 10 by the end of the year. If Denver is passed up this time, it’ll be a while before it could try again. The World Cup rotates between continents, so Denver couldn’t make another pitch to host until 2042.