Music City is on a short list to potentially host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
On Wednesday, FIFA announced the United States will be hosting the games along with Mexico and Canada.
The list of potential cities to host the Cup is down to 23 cities in North America, including Nashville.
If Nashville wins the bid, the World Cup would be held at Nissan Stadium, which can hold over 69,000 soccer fans and expand to 75,000. There would be thousands more fans in the streets.
“We’ll put up some screens for those people. You might be watching another game ahead of the game here, or you might be watching in the stadium,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation.
People who love the sport said they are excited about what this means for Nashville. But the city has work to do.
“It’s the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s not like the Super Bowl,” said Stephen Robinson, a member of The Roadies, a nonprofit group of supporters for the Nashville Soccer Club. “Transit is definitely something I’m a little worried about when it comes to traffic and everything. People internationally are definitely used to not having to drive everywhere. So looking into stuff like that and making it affordable for people as well.”
Hosting the Cup would put pressure on Nashville’s international hosting abilities.
“We have the venues, the hotel rooms, and the auxiliary facilities to handle a World Cup game,” said Spyridon.
The event itself is expected to generate $14 billion for the North American economy. That’s something local stylist Angelica Smith finds valuable.
“Even though I’m not a huge soccer fan or I just don’t follow soccer, I think it would just be nice for Nashville to have something like that coming to town,” said Smith, who works at Local Honey.
Spyridon said he believes FIFA will use 11 cities as venues for the World Cup. The final list of host cities will be announced in 2021.
Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.