There were more than 10 speakers vying for the District, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, former Washington Spirit coach and World Cup goalkeeper Briana Scurry, and Greg O’Dell, the president and CEO of Events DC.
“You are looking at a direct result from the success of Washington DC’s 1994 World Cup bid,” said Hamid, who was born and raised in the DC area, and grew up playing in D.C. United’s youth programs. “Those after-school programs gave me the opportunity to get off the streets and to turn my life around and make something of myself.”
The District has been the site of more US national team games than any other city, and if selected as a host, it would be DC’s fourth World Cup, the most of any bid cities.
FIFA officials spent the weekend touring prospective venues. While FedEx Field is the proposed stadium, and previously hosted the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, more locations have been scouted for training purposes including Audi Field, the Fields at RFK Campus, and the Maryland SoccerPlex, among others.
To sweeten the deal, bid committee DC2026 announced its plan for FanFest, a July 4 party on the Mall celebrating the country’s 250th birthday, which will happen during the World Cup.
There are 17 cities hoping to host World Cup matches, with roughly 10 or 11 spots available. Mexico and Canada will split a few additional spots. No decision has been made yet, and the announcement won’t come until January or February at the earliest.
Continuing their tour, FIFA officials are in Baltimore today, another bid city.