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2020-07-22

Greater Orlando 2026 FIFA World Cup Pursuit Partners Present to FIFA and U.S. Soccer

GO26 continues their pursuit to be one of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup

ORLANDO, Fla., July 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Greater Orlando 2026 FIFA World Cup Pursuit Partners (GO26) – Greater Orlando Sports Commission, City of Orlando, Orange County and Orlando City Soccer Club –  presented to officials from FIFA and U.S. Soccer yesterday. The virtual one-on-one presentation was a significant step in the bid process with the final venue selection expected to be announced in 2021.

Orlando is among 17 U.S. cities still in the running to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be jointly hosted across North America by the United States, Canada and Mexico. This will mark the first time in FIFA history that three nations will co-host the World Cup. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the largest in history, bringing in 48 teams, 80 matches and is projected to exceed $5 billion in economic impact.

“As one of the United States' premier sports destinations, Orlando has consistently proven it can successfully host high-profile events,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "No other region can compare to our diversity, entertainment experiences, boundless hospitality and our passion for this global sport. We are thrilled for the opportunity to welcome the world to Orlando again.”

“I have fond memories of the 1994 FIFA World Cup where I served as lieutenant with the Orlando Police Department and oversaw stadium security for the Orlando venue,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. "With Orlando’s world-class hospitality and tourism expertise, there is no doubt that our community will deliver unforgettable experiences and history making moments for the participating athletes and hundreds of thousands of visitors that will travel to Orlando from around the globe.”

“The FIFA World Cup has been a part of my professional life since 2002 but I have been a fan for my entire life and I’ve seen first hand the positive impact this event can have on the community,” said Alex Leitao, Chief Executive Officer for Orlando City Soccer Club. “There is no better community to welcome the excitement of the beautiful game than the City of Orlando. Our passionate city is committed to growing the game and creating a lasting legacy.”

“We were so pleased to have had the opportunity to share our collective vision for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Orlando with our colleagues from FIFA and U.S. Soccer.  One can argue that our community has been preparing and planning for this moment and this opportunity for the last 30 years dating back to our pursuit and execution of the 1994 FIFA World Cup,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Our GO26 leadership team is committed to uniting our region in an effort to secure this once-in-a-generation event. We look forward to the next steps in the bid process and to safely welcoming FIFA and U.S. Soccer’s leadership teams to Orlando for site visits and venue inspections.”

Visit Orlando2026.com for news, updates and to sign up to be notified about upcoming opportunities to support the 2026 Greater Orlando World Cup Bid.

About Greater Orlando Sports Commission:
GO Sports is a private, non-profit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1993, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,400 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $1.78 billion in spending within the community. For more information, please visit GreaterOrlandoSports.com.

About Orange County Government
Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, visit www.OCFL.net or go to Orange County on Facebook and Twitter.

About Orlando City Soccer Club
Orlando City SC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as the league's 21st franchise in November 2013, becoming the first MLS team in the Southeast. The Lions began league play in March 2015, and in 2017, moved into its privately-owned downtown soccer stadium. In 2019, Orlando City SC launched OCB in the newly-formed USL League One to bridge the gap between its successful youth development academy and the First Team. 

In November 2015, the Club announced its intention to bring professional women’s soccer to Central Florida and launched Orlando Pride in National Women's Soccer League. The Pride began league play in April 2016 with a star-studded team of FIFA World Cup Champions. For more information, visit orlandocitysc.com or orlando-pride.com.

Contact:
Kaleigh DeHart
kdehart@uproarpr.com

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