Monica Paul Q&A

Monica Paul Q&A

Monica Paul is the Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission and plays an instrumental role in Dallas’ bid to be a 2026 World Cup Host City.

 How did it feel when the United Bid was selected to host in 2026?

We were ecstatic to hear that the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be hosted in North America. We are also thrilled that Dallas will have the possibility to welcome the world and put our passion for soccer on display for the greatest global sporting event. We have been working on this bid for over a year and look forward to the next step in the process to ensure Dallas is a host city.

Is Dallas ready to host a World Cup?

Dallas is absolutely ready, willing and able to host the World Cup while delivering a world-class experience in the process! This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a lasting and positive legacy for North Texas through the world’s most popular sport – soccer. We have great partners that all recognize the importance and opportunity hosting a World Cup would have on our region.

What is the timeline for cities to be officially notified that they are a host city?

Approximately 12-16 cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States will be chosen to host games. Cities will be notified in late 2020 or early 2021.

Soccer is a pretty big deal in Dallas…how did the soccer pedigree here along with what our city has to offer position Dallas as a Host Candidate City?

We want Dallas to be on the international stage for sports and we are committed more than ever to being a World Cup Host City in 2026. Dallas had a great experience as a host in 1994 and we have developed into one of the top areas in the country for soccer, evident with the success of FC Dallas, the history of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, and the opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in October at Toyota Stadium. Our central location in the U.S., our two major airports in DFW International and Dallas Love Field, along with our great facilities in AT&T Stadium, Fair Park and Cotton Bowl Stadium, and Toyota Stadium make Dallas an ideal location to host.

What was the lasting effect of hosting the World Cup in 1994?

Dallas hosted six World Cup matches in 1994 at the Cotton Bowl. This includes one of the most exciting matches in the competition’s history: a quarterfinal battle that saw Brazil edge Netherlands 3-2 in front of 63,500 fans. On a global scale, people remember that World Cup experience in Dallas. The 1994 competition spawned the birth of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1996 with FC Dallas, then the Dallas Burn, one of the league’s charter clubs. From the National Soccer Hall of Fame, that will open in October at Toyota Stadium, to the FC Dallas Academy program, which is considered one of the best in the country, North Texas has become one of the most dynamic soccer communities in the U.S.

How is the Dallas 2026 host committee being built?

The Dallas host committee is comprised of experienced sports event marketing and operations professionals who bring years of experience and expertise to the planning and execution of major events. Leaders from Dallas and other North Texas cities, AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, the Dallas Sports Commission, DFW Airport, Love Field and other city, regional, state and national entities are already collaborating to bring the most electrifying sporting event in the world to North Texas. This is an opportunity to use soccer to transform communities while harnessing the positive economic and social momentum to leave a legacy.

Dallas is known for hosting big sporting events, and the World Cup is the world’s largest…

Dallas and North Texas have an outstanding record of performance over the past seven years. DFW has hosted the largest events in sports and entertainment including the NFL Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, the NBA All-Star Game, College Football Playoff National Championship game, CONCACAF Gold Cup and WWE WrestleMania. Each required years of strategic planning and collaboration. Each was executed safely, intelligently and successfully and we get better each time.

What will being a host city in 2026 mean to Dallas?

Sports in Dallas is woven into the fabric of our culture. By hosting the World Cup, we have an opportunity to showcase Dallas and North Texas to an international audience. World Cup host cities earn global media coverage. This will allow us to further promote DFW as a world-class destination. Exposure aside, remember this: experts forecast an estimated 3,000 new jobs will be created and that our local economy will receive over $400 million economic boost by hosting World Cup matches.

2026 seems like a long way away…how will planning move forward?

Though we’re eight years away, integrated planning over that timeframe will allow for seamless execution of a safe and successful 2026 World Cup. Plus, we benefit from being part of a truly united effort, one that will use this eight-year runway to prepare, alongside partners in Canada, Mexico and across the United States, by sharing best practices related to all aspects of hosting. Dallas serving as a host city for the 2026 World Cup would shape the region and its soccer legacy for subsequent generations on a global scale. We look forward to welcoming the world to Dallas and North Texas for a memorable experience at the 2026 World Cup. Members of the bid team will spend a few days in Russia to scope out many aspects of hosting the World Cup from stadium, hotels, fan fest locations, transportation, city services, and other venues.

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