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Seattle could generate $90-100 million if chosen to host 2026 World Cup games

According to Visit Seattle, the city could generate anywhere from $90 million to $100 million in economic activity, depending on the number of games Seattle plans to host.

SEATTLE — The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) will announce the venues for the 2026 World Cup on Thursday, with Seattle eagerly awaiting to be one of the 16 needed for the tournament.

It is an offer that has been in the pipeline since 2015 and involves a partnership between the private and public sectors.

“We’re talking about a global event,” said Markham McIntyre, interim director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. “It’s like having a Super Bowl for every one of those games.”

While the news would be good for sports fans, its impact would be felt across the city.

According to Visit Seattle, a host city could generate between $90 million and $100 million in economic activity, depending on the number of games Seattle is chosen to host.

But the big question is, can Seattle handle that many people at once?

Between Seattle’s new waterfront and the expansion of the light rail to the new international arrivals facility at Sea-Tac, McIntyre said Seattle is finally able to successfully host major events like the World Cup.

“We’ve been in a reactive cycle for a while, but this could be an example of how we’re finally coming out of it and have set up a number of assets in a sequence to take us onto a global stage,” McIntyre said .

Tourism plays a major role in this.

“Where they’re going to stay, where they’re going to eat, where they’re going to be while they’re here in Seattle — it’s all part of the planning,” said Kelly Saling, SVP and chief sales officer at Visit Seattle.

Visit Seattle needs an estimated 10,000 hotel rooms within a two-hour drive of Lumen Field. Despite a four-year break, 6,000 hotel rooms have already been booked before the start of the 2026 World Cup.

According to Visit Seattle, tourism offsets taxes by $1,000 per year per household in King County.

“We get traffic, we get safety for the public,” Saling said. “But with something as impactful as the World Cup, our collective budget just grows.”

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/seattle-hopes-fifa-world-cup-city-boost/281-7d5f1747-fef3-4aed-82ee-8acb4d80cdee Seattle could generate $90-100 million if chosen to host 2026 World Cup games

Alley Einstein

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