ORLANDO, Fla. (March 18, 2021) –The 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 with officials from FIFA and U.S. Soccer this week (March 16, 2021) to discuss Camping World Stadium’s infrastructure. The virtual meeting was a significant step in the bid process with the final venue selection expected to be announced in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“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 the expectations for delivering an unrivaled experience for soccer’s world class athletes,” said Allen Johnson, City of Orlando’s Chief Venues Officer.
“Orlando has already established itself as one of the premier sports destinations in North America and enhancing Camping World Stadium only adds to our ability to host premier events,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I am proud that we’ve achieved exceptional value throughout the entire reconstruction. Our strategy continues to be validated by the lineup of marquee sporting events that are being scheduled for the months and years ahead as Orlando thrives as the Soccer Capital of the South.”
“Throughout the pandemic, the world has witnessed our collaborative spirit as we worked hand-in-hand with national and international sports partners to bring sports back safely,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L Demings. “It is the same collaborative effort that will allow us to deliver a great experience to FIFA in 2026.”
Orlando is among 17 U.S. cities still in the running to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be jointly hosted across North America by the United States, Canada and Mexico. This will mark the first time in FIFA history that three nations will co-host the World Cup. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the largest in history, bringing in 48 teams, 80 matches and is projected to exceed $5 billion in economic impact.
“We expect that the economic impact for our community will conservatively range from $600-800M in addition to the massive exposure that will be generated for our destination,” said Jason Siegel, President and CEO, Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
Camping World Stadium is currently in its $60 million phase of its ambitious “top-to-bottom” renovation costing $267 million in total, as the city reinforces its unique appeal as a venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. By the time renovations are finished, the stadium will in effect have been completely rebuilt, with 90% all-new construction. The $60 million worth of work consists of 3,800 additional seats, creating an entirely new, enclosed premium club level on the east and west sides, concessions, and restroom improvements and more. The stadiums sustainable design achieved a LEED Silver Certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. Construction is being handled by Barton Malow Co. and stadium design by HNTB.
Built in 1936, Camping World Stadium is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. The stadium has the distinction of hosting three bowl games annually, more than any other stadium participating in the College Football Bowl Subdivision. Camping World Stadium has hosted numerous high-profile events including the NFL Pro Bowl, WrestleMania, Monster Jam World Finals and big-name concerts. In 2021, it was announced that Florida Cup, an international soccer tournament, will host annual matches at Camping World Stadium. The event will target top soccer clubs from Europe while continuing to attract elite participants from North and South America.
Hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup matches at Camping World Stadium in Orlando was a springboard for the popularity of soccer in Orlando and across the country. During the pandemic, Orlando was the region that many leagues and event owners turned to when they were ready to safely return to play. This included hosting the 2020 MLS is Back tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports, the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team Spring Training Camp at Omni ChampionsGate and multiple events at Exploria Stadium including the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, 2021 SheBelieves Cup, U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team vs Columbia and the U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team vs Trinidad and Tobago.
Since 2017, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have an 11-game winning streak in Orlando.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to continue our discussions with the executives from FIFA and U.S. Soccer in pursuit of the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Siegel continued. “With the upgrades to Camping World Stadium, in addition to the national and international soccer matches that our community has hosted in the last year, and the extremely competitive bid we have submitted, we are confident that we have proven to FIFA that we are ready to welcome the world in 2026.”
Visit Orlando2026.com for news, updates and to sign up to be notified about upcoming opportunities to support the 2026 Greater Orlando World Cup Bid.
About Camping World Stadium
Camping World Stadium is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. Since opening in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the cost of $115,000 and a capacity of 8,900, the stadium has undergone numerous expansions and name changes over the years. The historic venue underwent a massive $207.7 million reconstruction in 2014, which yielded 90% all-new construction and a completely modernized stadium. Its sustainable design achieved a LEED Silver Certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. The numerous enhancements and amenities include 41,000 lower bowl seats with chair backs, two 360-degree concourses, multiple giant video displays, a 20,000 square-foot plaza deck, a vibrant open-air exterior and unique indoor & outdoor club spaces to serve 5,000 patrons. These upgrades have bolstered Camping World Stadium’s ability to draw new high-profile events like neutral-site college football games, the NFL Pro Bowl, NFL pre-season match-ups and big-name concerts while retaining its signature annual bowl games and events. The City of Orlando and its partners at Florida Citrus Sports expect the reconstruction to generate a $300 million annual economic impact. For more information, visit CampingWorldStadium.com.
About Orange County Government
Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, visit www.OCFL.net.
About Orlando City Soccer Club
Orlando City SC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as the league’s 21st franchise in November 2013, becoming the first MLS team in the Southeast. The Lions began league play in March 2015, and in 2017, moved into its privately-owned downtown soccer stadium. In 2019, Orlando City SC launched OCB in the newly-formed USL League One to bridge the gap between its successful youth development academy and the First Team.
In November 2015, the Club announced its intention to bring professional women’s soccer to Central Florida and launched Orlando Pride in National Women’s Soccer League. The Pride began league play in April 2016 with a star-studded team of FIFA World Cup Champions. For more information, visit orlandocitysc.com or orlando-pride.com.
About Greater Orlando Sports Commission:
GO Sports is a private, non-profit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1993, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,450 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $1.9 billion in spending within the community. For more information, please visit GreaterOrlandoSports.com.