Sports

Robert Kraft Wants to Bring the World Cup to Boston

The owner of the Patriots and the Revolution is creating a nonprofit to help fund the soccer tournament.

Robert Kraft and Charlie Baker

Photo via AP/Michael Dwyer

Robert Kraft is kicking Boston’s bid for the World Cup up a notch.

The Patriots and Revolution owner is creating Boston Soccer 2026, a nonprofit organization aimed at raising enough money to host up to six World Cup games at Gillette Stadium, according to the Boston Globe. Kraft is the honorary chairman of the board trying to bring the 2026 tournament to North America, and FIFA will announce the next World Cup site in June.

Phil Buttafuoco, the executive director of special events at Gillette, told the Globe that Boston Soccer 2026 will help cover the costs of several aspects of the tournament, from fan festivals to FIFA branding, so organizers do not have to rely on public funds. The City of Boston will be reimbursed by Boston Soccer 2026 for any money it spends in conjunction with the event, according to the Globe. Kraft Group is the only company supporting Boston Soccer 2026 thus far.  

Earlier this month, the United States Soccer Association and its partners in Canada and Mexico sent FIFA a list of 23 potential host venues ranging from Edmonton to Guadalajara for the 2026 World Cup. The lineup originally included nearly 50 options, according to the Globe, but officials in places like Chicago and Minneapolis took their municipalities out of the running because of potential red tape from FIFA. The soccer federation is also weighing a bid submitted by Morocco for the 2026 tournament.

The last time the United States hosted the World Cup was in 1994, when it was played in nine venues across the country, including Foxboro Stadium, the old home of the Patriots.