SEATTLE - Seattle is among a handful of other U.S. cities showcasing the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will bring a huge impact to the city, both emotionally and financially.
There's no question that Seattle is already a soccer city, with the Sounders being an elite team in MLS. But after securing a World Cup bid to be a host city, Seattle will feature the top teams on the globe in just 30 short months.
"We are very excited here in Seattle to be able to welcome an event like the World Cup," said Michael Woody, senior vice president for community engagement and public affairs at Visit Seattle. "When you're looking at over four billion people that watch this, for us it's a very exciting opportunity to be able to showcase all of the wonderful things that are here in Seattle."
Seattle is guaranteed six total games and each one will feel like a Super Bowl.
Economically, the event should be a home run, with hotel rooms already being booked for June of 2026. And that's just the start of it.
"Well, you've got 65,000 people cramming into Lumen…that means people are staying hotels, that means people are going to bars, cafes," said Jon Scholes, president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association. "Maybe they forgot something and they need to go to the drugstore to get some toothpaste, so all of that translates to great economic activity for business owners for workers and it’s tax revenue to our city government."
The total economic impact for all host cities across North America is predicted to be around $5 billion, and about $100 million is expected to be generated in Western Washington.
World Cup guests will be able to jump on a ferry and visit the islands, go hiking in the Cascades and enjoy the beautiful scenery, or hang out downtown where there's something for everyone.
"That’s what's one of our biggest assets. You can come here and go to an event and you're often arriving on foot. You’re not in this stadium that's not 10 miles outside of the city, surrounded by a big parking lot and nothing else. It’s in the heart of our city in our historic neighborhood, so you can walk and enjoy the city and enjoy the game and that’s one of our selling assets," Scholes said.
Small business owners will also greatly benefit from the event.
"It's going to bring a lot of money, you know, we can't even imagine how much but I'm sure it's going to be bigger than maybe the All-Star game that we just had," said Gavin Chung, who will be set up right outside Lumen for every match.
Come June 2026, the world will be watching, and everyone can't wait.
"We’ve seen that impact the World Cup has all over the world every four years, big huge soccer fans, and we’ve got a great contingency of fans here in Seattle as well. So when they announced that Seattle was one of the cities, I thought this is amazing, it’s going to be awesome for our store, and it’s kind of unlike a lot of the other World Cups where it’s not at one venue or one country," said Brandon Minor, owner of Pro Image Sports.