NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — FIFA will make its highly anticipated announcement in just over two weeks about where they’ll stage the FIFA World Cup 2026 across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Nashville is one of 22 cities on the list of candidates. Others include Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City and Seattle.
“Honestly, I think Nashville’s chances were better a few months ago than they are now. And the reason I say that is because of the uncertainty about the NFL stadium,” said Washington Post Soccer Correspondent Steve Goff.
As Nissan Stadium ages, the Tennessee Titans are weighing their options to renovate or rebuild? Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill said that between necessary maintenance, and additional renovations to keep the stadium modern and competitive, it could cost $1.8 billion between now and the end of the lease in 2039. Nihill estimates a brand new venue could cost between $1.9 and $2.2 billion.
“FIFA went into this, I think, from what I’ve heard, looking very positively on Nashville, you know, great city, a fun city, stadium downtown, a history of hosting soccer events, not just MLS but international. And you have a situation where the Titans want a new stadium,” Goff said.
He said the discussion surrounding Nissan Stadium could cast a shadow of doubt about what facility FIFA would use for the four World Cup matches if Nashville gets selected.
“It doesn’t sound like an NFL stadium can get done in time for a 2026 summer World Cup,” said Goff. “You can’t just finish in May 2026. You got to have that thing done at least six months in advance. And then, you know, how much money is poured into the current venue? It’s an issue. So I thought Nashville was in great shape until this issue came up. And now I’m not so sure.”
Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation President and CEO Butch Spyridon feels the city is still a strong contender. FIFA will make its announcement of selected cities on June 16th.
“We’ve communicated regularly and been completely transparent,” Spyridon said in a statement to News2. “While the stadium discussion has raised questions, we believe we are still in a good position. The Titans have been incredible partners throughout this process. We hope to have an event to watch the announcement.”
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation shared that an economic analysis found Nashville would benefit from $695 million in total economic impact if the city ends up hosting four matches as part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Their report stated that in addition to the economic benefits, the attention Nashville receives from being thrust onto the world stage could offer a lot of longer-term economic gains as well.