Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium Not Selected as a World Cup Host Site

| June 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

Baltimore’s bid to be a host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosted by North America has fallen short. On Thursday, FIFA announced the 16 host cities from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the joint bid by Baltimore and Washington, D.C. was excluded.

From Maryland Sports Commission Excutive Director Terry Hasseltine in Baltimore Business Journal:

“I’m really disappointed in FIFA today for their decision, really disappointed in US Soccer for making this decision,” he said in a press conference following the host cities announcement. “There had to be something behind the scenes that we just don’t know. Something doesn’t pass the sniff test.”

Joint statement from Max Brown, chairman of Events DC Board of Directors, and Hasseltine:

“While we are disappointed that DC and Baltimore-Maryland were not selected as host cities, we will look for ways to bring the FIFA 2026 World Cup to life for fans and visitors in our Nation’s Capital and the Maryland region. We also want to thank the many officials, business and community leaders as well the hundreds of DC and Baltimore-Maryland region soccer fans that worked on and supported this excellent joint effort. We look forward to continuing our partnership with FIFA and exploring other opportunities to be part of this historic event in 2026.”

The committee was expected to select 10 American cities and three Canadian cities. Instead it selected 11 American cities and Toronto and Vancouver as the Canadian host cities, leaving out Edmonton. The American cities chosen were Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle. The Mexican cities are Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara.

Baltimore and Washington, D.C. announced in April they were joining forces on a joint bid which would’ve had the matches played at M&T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore was touting its updated stadium and surrounding amenities and mixed-use developments as part of its pitch. The Ravens are continually renovating M&T Bank Stadium and recently completed a $120-million upgrade with more improvements under consideration following new legislation that allows the stadium to have $600 million in bond debt.

M&T Bank Stadium is also surrounded by underway, mixed-used developments such as the Warner Street District, Stadium Crossing, and Stadium Square.

The Baltimore bid proposed sites such as South Point in Port Covington, Federal Hill Park, the Inner Harbor promenade, Fort McHenry, and Harbor Point for a World Cup fan fest.

Hasseltine also told Baltimore Business Journal:

“Something will happen in Baltimore, Maryland — it’s just not match play. I just don’t know what that is right now. FIFA now has to go back and address the cities that were left on the sideline.”

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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