ORLANDO: Orlando’s prospective host operation for the 2026 World Cup has outlined its plans to assure FIFA that infrastructure of the stadium used at the 1994 finals will be fully in line with updated demands.
A decision is expected later this year on which 10 out of the 17 competing United States venues will be selected by FIFA after further consultations involving U.S. Soccer.
Leaders of Greater Orlando 2026 FIFA World Cup Pursuit Partners (GO26) – the City of Orlando, Orange County, Orlando City Soccer Club and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission – met FIFA and USSF officials earlier this month to discuss Camping World Stadium’s infrastructure.
Allen Johnson, City of Orlando’s chief venues officer, said: “The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to better understand FIFA’s requirements, particularly around the field of play, where there was a very positive dialogue on how Camping World Stadium can meet and exceed expectations.”
The 2026 finals will be the first cohosted by three countries – US, Canada and Mexico – and the first to feature 48 teams. The 80 matches are projected to exceed $5bn in economic impact.
Jason Siegel, president and ceo of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, said: “We expect that the economic impact for our community will conservatively range from $600-800m in addition to the massive exposure for our destination.”
Camping World Stadium is currently undergoing the $60m phase of a top-to-bottom renovation costing $267m. By the time renovations are finished, the stadium will in effect have been completely rebuilt, with 90pc all-new construction.
The $60m phase consists of 3,800 additional seats, a new, enclosed premium club level on the east and west sides, concessions, and restroom improvements etc.
Camping World Stadium was originally built in 1936 and is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. It has staged many high-profile events including the NFL Pro Bowl, WrestleMania, Monster Jam World Finals and big-name concerts.
The pandemic saw the venue host the 2020 MLS is Back tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports, the US women’s national team spring training camp at Omni ChampionsGate and multiple events at Exploria Stadium including the CONCACAF Champions League and 2021 SheBelieves Cup.