NASHVILLE – Nashville was not selected as a host city for FIFA World Cup 2026. The announcement was made today from New York City by FIFA officials. FIFA considered 22 candidate cities for a reported 16 spots in the most competitive venue selection process in World Cup history. Nashville was the smallest market among the candidate cities.
Butch Spyridon, CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp: “This was the most competitive venue selection process in World Cup history, and we are proud of the bid that Nashville put together. While we are deeply disappointed, we’ve known since the beginning that we were a long shot. You never know what goes into these final decisions, but we are very appreciative to FIFA for the opportunity to compete. This was a positive experience for the city and for us, as the organization who submitted the bid.
“We know Nashville exceeded their expectations, and they found many things to love about Music City. I want to especially thank all our partners, including Gov. Bill Lee, Mayor John Cooper, John Ingram, who would have chaired our Local Organizing Committee, as well as the co-chairs: Ian Ayre, Burke Nihill and Colin Reed. It was gratifying to see the partnership and collaboration as we went through this process. We gave it our best effort, learned a lot and now more than ever are prepared to host major global events.”
Five esteemed Nashville business leaders had been tapped to direct Nashville’s Local Organizing Committee. Serving as chairman would have been John Ingram, Owner of the Nashville SC, Chairman of the Board, Ingram Industries Inc., and Chairman, Ingram Content Group LLC. Co-chairs would have included: Ian Ayre, CEO, Nashville SC, Training Sites and International Relations/Logistics; Burke Nihill, President and CEO, Tennessee Titans, Stadium; Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Fundraising; Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, Host City.
The NCVC first submitted the FIFA World Cup 2026 bid on behalf of the city and state in 2018. FIFA World Cup 2026 will be staged in the United States, Canada and Mexico as part of a United Bid. It will include 48 teams and 80 matches.