When the U.S. men’s national team faced off against Iran late last month in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup, Sylvan Avenue Tavern in West Dallas was packed to the brim with soccer fans hoping for the U.S. to pick up a win.
Joshua Hall was one of those fans. Having grown up in a Hispanic household, Hall said he’s passionate about the sport. He even took off work to watch the game.
“I’m a fanatic,” he said. “I can always say like, you know, I watch both footballs, American and world football.”
Of course, while the U.S. beat Iran 1-0 that day, the team failed to make it past the Round of 16.
Still, for Texas soccer fans like Hall, this year’s tournament in Qatar is a preview for something even more exciting: The world’s largest sporting event is coming to the U.S. in 2026, with both Dallas and Houston chosen among the host cities.
Hall was just 3 years old in 1994, the first and only other time the World Cup came stateside. Back then, cup games were held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
His family attended, and now Hall plans to continue the tradition by bringing his daughter, who’ll be 4 by then.
“Just to have it here, I mean, the world’s talent’s gonna be here,” Hall said. “I hope the U.S. can play here so I can go see them in my backyard.”
And it’s not just soccer lovers who are excited. Local officials expect the games will bring billions of dollars to the region.
Renovations at AT&T Stadium in Arlington are already underway with $295 million in upgrades planned ahead of the tournament, according to WFAA.