“Atlanta is a soccer town:” Leaders react to World Cup coming to Atlanta

ATLANTA — One of the biggest sporting events in the world is coming to Atlanta: the FIFA World Cup.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium was picked to host games in 2026.

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In an announcement that was heard around the world, Atlanta will be hosting some of the World Cup games in 2026, and it’s been a long time coming.

“June 13, 2018, is when North America was rewarded officially the right to host the event and then the work began for cities to get involved and get their spots in the tournament, so four years and here we are,” Atlanta World Cup Bid Committee said.

The news broke on Thursday night. Shortly after, state and city leaders reacted.

“The reasons to locate an event of this scale in our great state speak for themselves. We got world-class transportation infrastructure, the world’s most utilized airport, numerous attractions and a thriving hospitality industry,” Gov. Brian Kemp said.

“So FIFA has found out something that we have already known for a little while here in Atlanta—that Atlanta is a soccer town,” Atlanta’s Mayor Andre Dickens said.

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And fans across the city agree that Atlanta is a soccer town.

“It hasn’t been this cool since we hosted the Olympics. Man this awesome,” said Scott Cowan.

“I think it’s great for the city. I think it’s well deserved. The MLS franchise has been for many years. We’ve shown the city our support for the team. It makes just a ton of sense,” said Andrew Erhabr.

Atlanta hosting the World Cup is good for sports fans and an opportunity for a huge economic boost for the state.

“Over $400 million, maybe $420 million, in economic impact. Also, a lot of international visitors which I think creates a lot of opportunities in the future,” said Kemp.

“Lots of jobs, I don’t know the exact number, but this is definitely a job generator and I want them to be local jobs for the people here in Atlanta,” said Dickens.

The World Cup Format for 2026 has 80 games, with 60 in the United States.

With 11 cities getting games, you would think each city would get five or six games, but they haven’t said if each city will get the same amount, or which rounds will be played where.

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