Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans looking to co-host 2026 FIFA World Cup

September 08, 2017 - 2:20 pm
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(WWL.com) -- North America is bidding against Morocco to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and New Orleans wants to get in on the action. Jay Cicero, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, says the Crescent City has already hosted 10 Super Bowls, six men’s Final Fours and the World Cup would be a perfect addition. But he says the competition is fierce.

“You’ve got cities with major league soccer franchises that have NFL franchises in their market. Everything that we have usually going for us as an attractive, international city, we’re trying to put forth.”

U.S. Soccer plans to announce in the fall a list of potential 25 host cities in America. Cicero says if selected, they would add natural grass to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“The United Bid Committee has expressed no concern about planting or moving in natural grass and growing it for a few weeks and playing on it then moving it out.”

The Superdome currently has 72,000 seats. Cicero says to be considered for an opening or final match, the stadium must hold 80-thousand people and that could happen after the next rounds of renovations. He says the Big Easy has so much to offer.

“With the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with 20,000 hotel rooms within walking distance, the French Quarter and everything else we usually sell to bring major events to Louisiana.”

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