Are you bummed The U.S. Men’s national team is missing the World Cup in Russia? Are you annoyed, Jacksonville is out of the running to host in 2026? There’s a silver lining.
Orlando is still a contender to host matches when the World Cup returns to North America, and that could be a win for Jacksonville, according to a number of sources.
UNF student Victor Andrade is from Brazil, which hosted the World Cup in 2014. His hometown of Franca is about five hours away from Sao Paolo, the nearest city that hosted games, but Andrade said the French national team set up camp near his home.
"We actually had a bunch of French people staying in Franca because it was cheaper,” Andrade said.
Jacksonville could see the same if Orlando lands its bid to host in 8 years.
USA supporters American Outlaws of Jacksonville welcome World Cup matches in Orlando, and the Jacksonville’s professional team the Armada said it would help grow its fanbase as well as grow the game in north Florida.
Andrade said hotels were cheaper farther away from host cities in 2014, and because Jacksonville is near the beach, it could draw a lot of international fans.
FIFA awarded the 2026 World Cup to a joint bid from The United States, Mexico and Canada. While Orlando is still in the running, the nations still have to narrow the list of host cities.