by Spencer Buell | June 13, 2018 10:37 am
Good news for New England soccer fans: The World Cup will more than likely be played at Gillette Stadium in 2026.
FIFA today voted in Moscow to select the North American bid to host the World Cup, the sport’s premiere event, over a competing bid in Morocco. So in eight years, teams from around the globe will face off in matches played throughout the U.S., which will host 60 of them, and Canada and Mexico, which will host 10 matches apiece.
From the start, the Foxborough home of the Patriots and the New England Revolution has been considered among likely World Cup host sites. The United States Soccer Association included the stadium, which was one of nine sites of the 1994 World Cup (back then it was called Foxboro Stadium), in its list of possible venues for 2026. ESPN certainly has its back: The site lists Gillette an option the soccer federation “won’t want to pass up.”
“It’s exciting,” Robert Kraft, the owner of the stadium and both the football and soccer teams, said Wednesday. “I know we have a lot of soccer fans on the North Shore, Fall River, New Bedford, Rhode Island, there’s a lot of fans. So we’re speaking to all of them.”
Earlier this year, Kraft launched Boston Soccer 2026, a nonprofit that would raise money to host as many as six games at his stadium without the need to invest public funds. He was honorary chairman of the board that sought to bring the tournament to the continent.
The 2026 proposal calls for the grand finale, the World Cup Final, to be played at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
— Joe Kayata (@NBC10_Joe) June 13, 2018
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