Nashville Surpasses Attendance Goal As It Prepares For Visit By World Cup Officials | WPLN News – WPLN
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Just over 43,000 people attended last weekend’s soccer game in Nashville, beating the goal the city set for itself ahead of a crucial visit in its bid to host the World Cup.
Officials from FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, are scheduled to come to Nashville next week in preparation for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the United States, Canada and Mexico. They’re expected to tour Nissan Stadium, Nashville SC’s soon-to-open stadium at the Fairgrounds and potential practice facilities, as they assess whether Nashville has the infrastructure to support international teams.
They’re also weighing whether the city can handle the crowds World Cup matches bring. Seventeen cities are competing for what’s expected to be 11 U.S. hosting slots, with Nashville being among the smallest still in the running.
Bruce Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., has described the city’s bid as a long shot, and he said turnout was essential to its success.
“At a minimum, we felt like 40,000 was the bar,” Spyridon said in an email after Sunday’s game. “We feel like the announced attendance of 43,000 shows a reasonable level of support. The field looked great, and the crowd was totally engaged. Hopefully this helped us but for sure didn’t hurt.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team tied Canada 1-1, a disappointing result for a squad currently ranked No. 10 in the world. The U.S. is trying to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after failing to make the field in 2018 for the first time in a generation.
Hosting the 2026 World Cup will automatically qualify the U.S.
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