London, May 14 (EFE). Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, has been presented as a candidate to host six matches in the 2026 World Cup, with the aim of being a link between Mexico and the rest. Of places and economic forecasts similar to those of the Six Superbowls.
Houston, located in Texas and close to the border with Mexico, already knows what it’s like to host the Superbowl, the NBA All-Star, and the International Champions Cup in the summer, where, among other things, Real Madrid and Bayern. Munich and Manchester City, among others, Copa América and Gold Cup matches, and now preparing for the grand challenge of the World Cup.
“It’s the city that has hosted the most sporting events in the United States since 2004. It’s the turn of the World Cup, the most famous and important event,” said Chris Canetti, president of Houston’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. EFE.
“We have two international airports, which are easily accessible and two large stadiums in the city center. The World Cup will be held at the NRG stadium, with a capacity of 70,000 spectators with the advantage of having a retractable roof. This protects against climate change in the summer.”
At this NRG stadium, for example, his first goal was scored by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, in a friendly match between the “Red Devils” and the MLS stars together in 2010.
This is one of Houston’s great powers compared to the rest of the candidates. Its relationship with Mexico, which proposed Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey as its headquarters.
Houston has a tremendous relationship with Mexico. The national team has played here many times and sold all match tickets, because there is a large community of Mexicans. There are very fast flights between Houston and Monterrey, Guadalajara or Mexico City. It’s very easy for sponsors, fans and teams to move from Point to point. And it makes perfect sense for us that Houston would be that entry point, “Canetti said.
Houston, with a population of more than a million Mexicans, will fight with 16 other cities to be one of ten World Cup stadiums, in a selection process that will be decided at the end of the year, without a specific date yet.
To set itself apart from the rest, Houston is sticking with a cultural proposal that invites fans to come not just for football.
“It’s a city very connected to art and gastronomy. One of the biggest attractions in Houston is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s an event that takes place every year at NRG Stadium. And for 20 days in a row it is filled with 70,000 people. There are music shows, there are festivals, parties.” BBQ … Three million people pass by it every year, and the beach is only 50 miles away. We will party on the beach as if it was Copacabana when the World Cup was in Brazil. “
“We also have the NASA Space Museum. We hope to attract a lot of strangers as well as Americans.”
Regarding the financial impact of hosting an event like this, Canetti indicated that it could be like “hosting six Superbowls”.
“The 2017 Superbowl was about $ 340 million for a single game, for one day. Now we’re aiming for six games in three weeks. It’s like hosting six Superbowl games. It’s not as easy as saying it’s going to be 340 million times six, but it will have.” Huge financial impact. “
Additionally, although Mexico will host its national team matches, Houston, thanks to its cultural diversity and connections, would be a good choice for Spanish-speaking countries.
“Houston has more direct flights than any other city to Central and South America. If you are coming from Argentina, Colombia or Brazil, you can reach Houston with many options.”
“In addition, we are the fourth city in the United States with the largest number of consulates. There are more than 100 consulates. For example, you are from Colombia or Germany, you have a representation of the consulate here so you can solve any problem, like losing a passport or something. Like that. We only have less than New York, Washington and Chicago. I think it is a great advantage for a traveler. “
(C) The EFE Agency