No 2026 World Cup games in Nashville, FIFA announced last week. Why?

·2 min read
Chris Dite, Ross McCall and Jurgen Mueller visit and asses  Nissan Stadium Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. They are part of a 24-member visiting delegation from FIFA and CONCACAF that spent the day in Nashville touring Nissan Stadium and viewing potential Fan Fest sites downtown as the city tries to become a host site for the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
Chris Dite, Ross McCall and Jurgen Mueller visit and asses Nissan Stadium Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. They are part of a 24-member visiting delegation from FIFA and CONCACAF that spent the day in Nashville touring Nissan Stadium and viewing potential Fan Fest sites downtown as the city tries to become a host site for the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

Good Monday morning! This is trending sports reporter Nick Gray.

Nashville's bid to be one of the hosts of the 2026 World Cup fell short on Thursday.     The U.S. host cities include Atlanta, Boston, New York City/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The World Cup is the second biggest worldwide event in sports, behind the Olympics. Nashville's reputation as an event town grows with every big event the city hosts. How did this not work out?

Nashville SC reporter Drake Hills reported Thursday that the uncertainty regarding a new Titans stadium that would replace Nissan Stadium did not help the city's case. The Titans, the city and the state have been working on a financing plan for a new $2.2 billion stadium on the East Bank, with a completion date target of 2026. That timeline is right up against the World Cup in summer 2026.

"I'm not willing to blame the stadium," Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation CEO Butch Spyridon said Thursday after the selection. "I would admit it raised questions and I feel like we more than answered and gave them the insurances that they needed."

It's a curious miscalculation for the Titans, the city and state. The timing on the bidding process to host 2026 World Cup games surprised no one.

While other domestic events, like the Super Bowl or Final Four, will be a spectacle in Nashville if a new stadium is constructed, the World Cup is a global event unlike any the city will get the chance to host in a long time. It's a shame Nashville won't get a chance to host, and in part because of self-enforced error.

"Our big-event reputation may have created a false sense of confidence that Nashville has a stronger hand with FIFA than it did all along in this competition.," columnist Gentry Estes wrote Thursday night.

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This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: No World Cup games in 2026 for Nashville. Why?