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WATCH: FIFA announcing host cities for 2026 World Cup at 5 p.m. today

(Scott Carroll)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 12:52 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2022 at 1:03 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - FIFA will broadcast the 2026 World Cup announcement live on its YouTube page between 5 and 6 pm. FIFA officials will hold a press conference after the announcement at 6:30 p.m.

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ORIGINAL STORY

On Thursday, FIFA will finally announce the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. And on the shortlist – Atlanta.

“We anticipate good news, great news for our city and our state,” said Dan Corso, President of the Atlanta Sports Council.

If selected, the city could hit the jackpot. U.S. Soccer projects a host city could make upwards of $480 million dollars during the 2026 World Cup.

In 2018, FIFA awarded Mexico, Canada, and the United States as the host countries for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA is expected to pick between 16 to 19 host cities, with potentially up to 12 in the U.S.

Corso and the Atlanta Sports Council organized Atlanta’s formal bid, along with the City of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Georgia World Congress Center, and Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Corso said what makes Atlanta stand out is its history of hosting premier sports events, it’s international connectivity through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and its soccer fan base through Atlanta United.

“We’ve got a reputation of being a great destination for these sporting events as a great host,” said Corso in an interview with CBS46 on Wednesday.

He pointed to the 1996 Olympics, the 2018 College Football National Championship, and the 2019 Super Bowl.

Atlanta United had the highest attendance average of any MLS team in 2021.

Corso said that Mercedes-Benz Stadium would have to convert its field to natural grass if selected.

Coverage of the announcement is slated for 5 p.m. ET on FS1.