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DC's '26 World Cup venue bid in jeopardy due to FedExField concerns

FedExField drew concern from FIFA over Issues including infrastructure, amenities and seating capacityGETTY IMAGES

DC might "have to consolidate" its '26 World Cup venue bid with Baltimore because of "concerns about the viability of playing" at FedExField, according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. As part of a joint regional effort, Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium would "become the area’s game venue," and DC would "stage nongame events, such as large-scale watch parties on the National Mall." Last fall, Washington received "high marks for its presentation to FIFA," but FedExField "did not." A FIFA delegation toured Washington in September, and while the overall presentation was "well-received," people close to the matter said that the stadium "drew concern." Issues included "infrastructure and amenities." Seating capacity also has "shrunk," affecting "potential ticket revenue for FIFA." The move would be "a boon to Baltimore," which, without Washington’s prestige as the nation’s capital, faces "long odds of becoming a venue." It also would be a "black eye" to the DC area. A host nation’s capital city has "almost always played a prominent role" in the World Cup. Since 1930, all but two "have hosted games." The Maryland Sports Commission Exec Dir Terry Hasseltine, whose group is leading Baltimore’s campaign, said the suggestion of a Baltimore-Washington bid “has been put out there [by fans], but it’s something we are leaving to the international and national governing body" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/20).

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