Soccer, the world’s game, is coming to our home.
As announced last night, the 2026 World Cup is coming to Canada, Mexico and the United States of America. But, even better than that, according to Vic Lombardi’s sources, the Mile High City will be a host city:
Here’s what I’m hearing:
Soccer scoop: tomorrow the 2026 World Cup bid will be announced. It’s coming to the US as part of a joint bid with Canada and Mexico. Denver will be a host city!!!!#USSoccer
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) June 12, 2018
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) June 13, 2018
While there’s no official word on which cities will be chosen, yet, the official twitter handle for the 2026 World Cup has Denver in the running to be a host city. Maybe that’s what Vic’s sources heard? Either way, 70 percent of the cities listed here will be chosen, so, Colorado soccer fans have to be excited at the chances.
16 host cities.
— United 2026 (@united2026) June 13, 2018
What’s one thing Denver has that no other US city on this list has? The Mile High City is the only one in the mountain time zone, nearly smack-dab in the middle of the country. There’s also the international airport in Denver, which would likely be a plus with teams from many other countries flying into town. And, public transportation has been vastly improved over the last few decades.
Of course, from a soccer standpoint, Denver also has two viable stadiums in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park a well as Mile High Stadium.
Thanks to the Colorado Rapids of the MLS, north Denver has Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which was built in 2007. Dick’s isn’t just a soccer stadium that holds 19,680 people, it’s also a 24-field complex, meaning teams would have a place to practice in the lead-up to their games. Of course, Mile High Stadium is much larger — with a 75,000-plus capacity — and the Rapids played in the old Mile High (1996-2001) before playing at new Mile High (2002-2006) as well.
In its history, Dick’s has hosted eight international soccer games, one of them a U-23 between the US and Canada. Outside of that sparsely attended U-23 contest, those international games averaged 16,042 fans per game. Two of those matches saw crowds of more than 19,000, each of them, World Cup Qualifying contests. The 2013 match pitting the US against Costa Rica has been dubbed “Snowclasico” and was played in blizzard-like conditions, prompting Costa Rica to file a protest, which was denied.
In MLS play, the Rapids average 14,000-plus fans a game over their history. Simply, Colorado loves soccer, the fans have proven as much time and time again.
Yet, another reason why Denver would be a great host city for the 2026 World Cup. Nothing certain has been announced yet, but keep an eye out for when the host cities are, indeed, chosen.
Until then, enjoy this flashback to “Snowclasico.”