Seattle looks to be part of sports’ biggest competition: the World Cup

Real Madrid's players celebrate with the FIFA Club World Cup trophy following their victory in the final football match against Gremio FBPA at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 16, 2017. (Karim Shib/AFP/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — It’s the biggest event in sports — the FIFA World Cup. This year Russia plays host to the quadrennial games, and Qatar holds the games in 2022.

The City of Seattle hopes that in eight years, the world’s biggest sports spectacle will be held right here in the Emerald City.

Last year, the city received a request from the head of the U.S. Soccer Federation to partner up with cities from Canada and Mexico to help host some of the nearly month-long series.

Today, the Seattle City Council will vote on the adoption of a resolution on whether or not to be part of the three-country bid. If they pass the resolution, then it’ll be up to the 2026 United Bid Committee to narrow down the cities. The committee is expected to do that by March before sending the official bid on to FIFA. FIFA will then make its choice for the host country(ies) by June.

Getting the World Cup would be a boon for the region, which is already known for its love of soccer. The Seattle Sounders consistently bring in fans to watch its matches. Supporters of the bid say that hosting some of the games would give local soccer fans the chance to see international competitions.

Right now, Seattle is just one of 25 U.S. cities vying for a final spot on the official bid.  Other big soccer cities like Kansas City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco are hoping to make the list.

The United States has only hosted the FIFA World Cup once, back in 1994. The games brought an estimated $4 billion economic benefit. Mexico has hosted the games twice, in 1970 and 1986. If the United Bid Committee wins, it will be the first time Canada would host a World Cup game.

So how big is this event? FIFA reports that more than a billion people watched at least part of the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina (Germany won that game 1-0 in extra time).

To put that many people in perspective, it’s almost one-seventh of the entire planet’s population.