NASHVILLE – A new economic analysis found that 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, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.
The report, “Economic Benefits of Hosting the World Cup in Nashville,” also showed the following benefits:
- $639.3 million in economic impact from visitors
- $205.6 million in income generated
- 5,469 annualized jobs
- $66.1 million in state and local tax revenue
In addition to the economic benefits, the analysis also concluded that “the attention Nashville receives from being thrust onto the world stage could offer much longer-term economic gains.” The report was prepared by William F. Fox, Director of the Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.
“Playing World Cup matches in Nashville would significantly enlarge the Tennessee economy,” Fox said. “Longer term, hosting the event will increase tourism from around the world and dramatically expand the visibility of Nashville as a great place to visit and live.”
“The opportunities presented by being a World Cup city are so substantial that we wanted an independent, third-party and highly respected economist to assess the impact for us,” said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “These phenomenal numbers speak to why we put in a bid, how significant being on the short list is and the huge benefits hosting the largest sporting event in the world could have for the city, Middle Tennessee and the entire state. For the international visitors who do come, they tend to stay longer and spend more money, and at the same time we will have the attention of a global TV audience further strengthening Music City around the world for years to come.”
“This economic impact study underscores what a boon it would be for Nashville to host these World Cup matches,” said John Ingram, chairman of Ingram Industries; lead owner of Nashville SC; and chairman of Nashville’s Local Organizing Committee if Music City is named a host city for FIFA World Cup 2026. “It’s not only a chance for us to show the world what is so special about Nashville but a way to channel the global interest in our city for the benefit of everyday Nashvillians.”
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be staged in the United States, Canada and Mexico as part of a United Bid. It will include 48 teams and 80 matches. An announcement on host cities is expected to come from FIFA in the coming months. Nashville is among 17 U.S. cities in the running to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Nashville has successfully hosted major events, including annual events such as CMA Fest, Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th; and New Year’s Eve in Nashville. The NCVC has also recruited major events, including the 2019 NFL Draft, the record-breaking event that generated $132.8 million in direct spending (note: direct spending does not include the multipliers that economic impact/output includes) and attracted 600,000 fans over three days. It was the largest Draft event in NFL history, and the largest event in Nashville’s history.
Music City’s success as a major sports city includes being home to four professional sports teams, as well as being named Best Sports City in 2019 and the 2019 NFL Draft being named Best Sports Event – both by the Sports Business Journal. Nashville SC, now in its third season, is scheduled to move into the country’s largest soccer-specific stadium on May 1.
The World Cup study examined the economic impact that construction, operations of the games and tourism associated with hosting the four World Cup soccer matches at Nissan Stadium would have on the Tennessee economy.
Total Economic Impact
The total economic output of $694.6 million includes $639.3 million in visitor spending, $18.9 million in operations and $36.4 million in stadium construction/renovation.
Visitor Spending ($639.3 million): Most of the economic activity (92%) will come from visitor spending and tourism that takes place outside of the event itself in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors. An estimated 160,000 out-of-area visitors are expected to attend the World Cup matches in Nashville, staying an average of five nights and spending $300 per night in hotels. The attendance figure is conservative in that it does not include fans who come to the city to follow their teams but don’t attend the games.
Operations ($18.9 million): Nissan Stadium will operate at full capacity as staff is hired to work the games. Revenue collected from ticket, merchandise and concession sales will be used to pay expenses of the games while simultaneously creating jobs and income for the residents of Tennessee.
Construction ($36.4 million): Relatively minor renovations to Nissan Stadium would be required, and funds will be provided by private donors. These temporary adjustments to the stadium could include a vacuum drainage system and widening the corners of the field. The estimated cost for construction is approximately $15 million, which is estimated to increase economic output by $36.4 million
An estimated 5,469 annualized jobs will come from hosting the World Cup, mostly in the leisure, hospitality, and retail sectors as establishment increase their staffs. An additional 200 annualized jobs will come from the World Cup operations and construction. Earnings for Tennessee workers would total $205.6 million, including from leisure, retail and hospitality jobs; construction; and stadium operations.
A significant one-time tax revenue will arise from sale taxes and hotel taxes. $66.1 million is predicted in total tax revenue with $45.9 million coming from sales, $10.8 million from hotels, and $9.4 million from other revenue.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com and follow us on social media: