ARLINGTON, Texas - Members of the Dallas Sports Commission will be heading to Qatar next week to learn more about what it takes to put on a World Cup.
Arlington was chosen as one of 16 cities in North America to host games for the 2026 World Cup.
"We are going to take a close look at Qatar and what has been developed for the World Cup," Monica Paul, the executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission. "We are going to have an entire three days worth of an observer program where actually we will go to the stadium, go to a match, go behind the scenes, see some of the local flair and the cultural things that have been added. Then when we come back we will really start to plan for 2026 and how we can make this special for Dallas."
FIFA still has not announced which cites will host which games in 2026, including the much anticipated World Cup Final.
"It is a key question for FIFA. We are hoping for anywhere from 5 to 7 different matches," said Paul. "FIFA has not made a determination on the final or semifinal, so that is something we are very interested to get into those discussions with FIFA and hopefully take that to the next step so we can get some really key matchups here in Dallas for 2026."
The World Cup is expected to infuse $400 million into North Texas' economy.
The matches will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, but locations across the Metroplex will host training, fan fest events and more.
"It's going to take this entire region for us to be successful," Paul said. "The number of people that will be coming into the area, one city can't hold."
With Qatar facing serious questions and concerns about human rights, the Dallas Sports Commission says they are already taking steps.
"We've worked very diligently I think with a lot of our local organizing committee members in putting together a human rights plan. Where can we further improve our cities within the United States for our local residents," Paul said.
The 2026 World Cup kicks off June 8 and runs through July 3.