Miami makes its pitch for 2026 World Cup matches – WPLG Local 10

Liane Morejon, Reporter
Published: September 23, 2021 5:24 pm
Liane Morejon, Reporter
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Hard Rock Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes and, possibly, the World Cup?
“We are the ideal destination,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
On Thursday, Hard Rock Stadium hosted local leaders and a FIFA delegation as part of the venue selection process for the 2026 World Cup.
“We’ve hosted more Super Bowls than anybody in the United States,” said José Sotolongo of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re the perfect site for the World Cup.”
And never before has Hard Rock Stadium been better suited for it.
“Thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment, we feel we have a facility here that is built to host these kinds of events,” said Tom Garfinkel, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami is the last stop on the first leg of FIFA’s site tour. They previously visited nine other cities.
“It’s really good to see just how competitive this process is,” said Colin Smith, FIFA’s chief tournament and events officer. “Will make our choice obviously incredibly difficulty.”
So, what does FIFA look for in a potential World Cup site?
“We need to provide state-of-the-art pitches [fields],” Smith said. “If you talk about media, we need to provide the broadcast facilities. Fanfest has obviously become a huge part of big events. … We look at airports, will look at transport, accommodation safety, security, obviously, sustainability is a key element for us.”
FIFA is expected to pick 16 venues across the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 tournament.
The World Cup was held in the United States once before, in 1994. Orlando’s Citrus Bowl was the lone Florida stadium among the nine venues used that year.
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Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.
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