Seattle is among the contenders to be one of the host cities in the United States for an all-North American FIFA World Cup in 2026, and on Thursday a brand platform and executive committee to lead the effort was announced.
SEA 2026 launched under the banner of “Soccer, Innovation, Everyone,” promoting the region’s passion for soccer, its ability to act on big ideas and the fact that all are welcome to experience the city like a local.
A seven-person executive committee to drive the effort is a mix of technology, sports, civic and entertainment notables.
- Adrian Hanauer — Chair of SEA 2026 and Sounders FC owner
- Jenny Durkan — Mayor of Seattle and SEA 2026 honorary chair
- Amy Hood — CFO, Microsoft
- Adam Selipsky — CEO, Amazon Web Services
- Mark Suzman — CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Russell Wilson — Seattle Seahawks quarterback
- Ciara — Grammy Award-winning entertainer
The addition of American footballer Wilson to promote and attract fútbol, along with Ciara, is certainly tied to their local celebrity and the fact that both joined the Sounders MLS ownership group in 2019. Hood also joined at that time.
The Sounders won the MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019 and have established a large and loyal soccer following in Seattle — a key element in satisfying FIFA.
The SEA 2026 website promotes the Sounders’ home stadium, Lumen Field, as being “built for this” opportunity to host soccer on its grandest scale.
“It’s loud … the loudest. Loud enough to generate seismic activity,” the website says.
The site’s innovation section includes a picture of the Spheres on the Amazon headquarters campus and says Washington state is known for its creativity and innovation. There are also images of a fish being tossed at Pike Place Market as well as the Space Needle.
FIFA World Cup 2026 will be held in the U.S., Canada and Mexico across 16 cities and will feature 48 teams. Members of the soccer organizing body began visiting potential host cities last month in the U.S. and will continue through the end of October, with Seattle in that latter visit time.
According to the World Cup website, “the FIFA delegation will meet with local stakeholders and discuss key topics such as venue management, infrastructure and sustainability as well as commercial, legal and legacy matters. The visits will also comprise inspections of essential infrastructure, such as stadiums, training facilities and potential FIFA Fan Festival venues.”
Fox Sports last month ranked Seattle among 17 U.S. cities which could end up in contention to host matches. The site did not make Seattle a “lock,” like Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York / New Jersey, but did call it “likely” alongside Dallas, Miami and San Francisco.
— SEA 2026 ⚽️ (@Seattle_2026) October 21, 2021