KING 5: World Cup Local officials have big expectations for World Cup in Seattle in 2026

Posted on

Source: KING 5

This story was originally published by KING 5 on Feb. 5, 2024

SEATTLE — Two years ago it was announced one of the biggest sporting events on the planet would land in Seattle in 2026. Now, FIFA has announced the city will host six World Cup matches.

Emotions are brewing as fans of this “beautiful game” drink up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It’s going to bring the eye of the world around here to a place that you don’t hear about too often,” said Daniel Pagard, the owner of George and Dragon Pub in Fremont, known as the “Seattle Soccer Headquarters.”

Pagard is thrilled after FIFA announced Seattle will host six World Cup matches in the summer 2026. The United States men’s national team will play at Lumen Field on June 19, 2026, in one of four group-stage matches hosted in the city. Seattle will also host two knockout matches in July.

“It’s essentially like having multiple St. Patrick’s Days over the course of one month,” Pagard said.

His business has hosted watch parties for the biggest soccer games over the years. Packing the pub, sometimes going through 30 kegs in one day. Pagard expects that and so much more when the world’s game comes to town.

“Hundreds of people showing up from all over the state and just completely losing their minds for an entire day and you can maybe heard a little bit of that over there,” Pagard said.

The excitement isn’t just at this local drinking hole. The CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) said this will be the largest event in the city since the World’s Fair back in 1962.

“This is going to be the biggest party, biggest event on the planet that descends in downtown Seattle,” said Jon Scholes CEO, Downtown Seattle Association. “It’s not only going to benefit our downtown, the whole city is going to feel this.”

According to the DSA, this past July more than three million people visited downtown Seattle, the most since 2019. Crediting two huge events. The MLB All-Star Game raked in more than $ 50 million in revenue. And the Taylor Swift Eras Tour earned $7.4 million in hotel revenue on July 22, setting a single-day record for the city.

“I think we’re going to shatter all records when it comes to visitor spending over a condensed period of time, Scholes said.

Scholes said downtown Seattle has 16,000 hotel rooms. He suggests people should start making reservations now. He expects thousands of visitors will book hotels in surrounding communities as well.

Tickets are not available. But fans can register for ticket updates through FIFA.