Soccer clubs excited for 2026 World Cup after Atlanta is picked as a host city

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:25 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Atlanta will serve as one of the 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. They will play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium which is currently the home to Atlanta United.

FIFA’s bid recommended Mercedes-Benz Stadium and AT&T Stadium in Dallas as possible semifinal hosts with MetLife Stadium in New Jersey recommended to host the final match.

One thing Atlanta will need to do to prepare is install natural grass in the stadium but officials say that won’t be a problem.

The City of Atlanta could see a financial benefit of around $400,000,000 as a host but locally, soccer clubs say they expect to see an impact too.

Both Tormenta FC and the Savannah Clovers say that with the sports biggest stage coming to the peach state, we will likely see soccer at every level grow.

The owner of Tormenta FC, Darin Van Tassell, said, “you know, when we started building the stadium for Tormenta we had the World Cup in 2026 in mind. It’s only growing. The question is do we catch linear or exponential growth, and you know, the power of sports is one of those global languages. It’s going to be front and center. So yeah, I’m super excited. I’m looking forward to all the watch parties in Tormenta’s stadium outdoors.”

Brian Sykes with the Savannah Clovers said, “we expect a big rise in participation at the youth level. We expect a rise in interest and engagement for our clubs here in the Savannah area, so it’s a really awesome thing. It’s really a generational thing that doesn’t happen often.”

Dan Corso from the Atlanta Sports Council says they expect to find out if the city will hold World Cup knockout round matches around this time next year, but in the meantime the 2022 World Cup is coming up in November.

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