City of Philadelphia asks FIFA to 'Bring It' in bid to host 2026 World Cup Matches

Key partners from ‘America’s Host City’ announce a Bid Committee Chair and new branding

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 24, 2019) – In a show of corporate and community strength, the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) convened local leaders to provide an update on the city’s on-going efforts to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to Philadelphia. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced that Comcast Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer David L. Cohen will serve as Chairman of the city’s Bid Committee.

In addition, PHLCVB President and CEO Julie Coker Graham, Philadelphia Eagles’ CFO Frank Gumienny and leadership from the Philadelphia soccer community unveiled new branded materials and their vision for the next phase of Philadelphia’s bid efforts, including the taglines “Bring It!” and “Philadelphia 2026, America’s Host City.”

"This occasion marks our very clear intention to secure matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Philadelphia has earned its reputation as ‘America’s Host City’ and in 2026, as we celebrate the birth of our great nation, there is no better place to welcome fans from around the world with open arms.”

Following Philadelphia's success hosting some of the world’s premier events, including the 2017 NFL Draft, 2016 Democratic National Convention and the 2015 Papal Visit, the destination stands as one of 23 prospective host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The list, which includes contenders from top cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is expected to be narrowed down to the final 16 host sites by FIFA by 2021. This will mark the first time FIFA is bringing the World Cup to U.S. soil since 1994.

"I am proud to join with our tremendous partners in the bid to bring the World Cup to Philadelphia in 2026,” Cohen said. “The World Cup is one of the greatest global sporting events,and we are excited to show FIFA, and the world, the capacity of our community and how we can deliver on the biggest of stages.”

Philadelphia boasts a competitive large event package including the country’s 4th largest media market, close proximity to other East Coast hubs, easily accessible public transit, rapidly growing hotel inventory, and a 70,000-seat stadium with a tremendous track record as a soccer host, among other key assets.

Since the bid process began in 2017, a number of partners have been working behind the scenes putting Philadelphia in a position to be a World Cup host city, including the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Union, Eastern PA Youth Soccer, Playmakers Group, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and its business development division, PHL Sports.

"We’ve assembled a diverse set of leaders who understand the city’s strengths and capacity for executing large-scale, global events,” said Coker Graham. “We are incredibly appreciative of everyone that has already stepped forward in support of our World Cup bid efforts, and are looking forward to growing that coalition across all sectors. The World Cup will be a huge win for our entire community.”

According to Boston Consulting Group’s 2017 City-Level Impact Assessment, cities that host between five and six World Cup matches could welcome up to 450,000 visitors who could generate approximately $70 million in direct visitor spending and an estimated $190 million in direct impact.

The regional soccer community was well represented at the announcement, including:

  • Philadelphia Union Chief Business Officer Tim McDermott
  • Eastern PA Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome
  • Eastern PA Youth Soccer President Michael Finnegan
  • Playmakers Studio President & Chief Creative Director Mark Gonzalez, among others.

Playmakers developed the identity and messaging campaign which was unveiled at today’s announcement.

The bid partners launched Philadelphia2026.com in February to engage with a regional community of soccer fans. The website encourages fans to show their support for bringing 2026 FIFA World Cup matches to Philadelphia, while also serving as an information hub for soccer- related news and events in the region.

To sign the letter of support, visit Philadelphia2026.com.

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