Baltimore-Maryland 26 Bid Committee Showcases Transformative Hosting Plans

March 5, 2021

The Baltimore-Maryland 2026 Bid Committee showcased the city’s transformative hosting plans to the FIFA and U.S. Soccer 2026 FIFA World Cup Host City selection delegation during a successful Infrastructure Workshop.

Alongside representatives from the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Baltimore Ravens, President of the Baltimore-Maryland 2026 Bid, Terrance Hasseltine, highlighted the outstanding stadium and infrastructure capabilities, the super-compact city plan and the bid’s priority mission to deliver a FIFA World Cup 2026 experience perfect for teams, fans and FIFA.

Baltimore-Maryland presented the award-winning M&T Bank Stadium, home to the iconic Baltimore Ravens NFL team, as the epicenter of the city’s celebration of football. Benefiting from recent upgrades totalling USD $140 million, the world-class M&T Bank Stadium ranks as a top ten venue in the US in terms of capacity – with the ability to welcome 71,000 fans on a match day.

With an ideal downtown location and excellent domestic and international travel connectivity, M&T Bank Stadium will allow fans to be at the heart of the football festival quickly and conveniently. Situated just 10 miles from the BWI Marshall International Airport and with more than 10,000 hotel rooms within walking distance, the stadium and city plans are also consistently praised for offering a great fan experience and generating a real sports-mad city buzz.

The bid team also explained how the venue was the first outdoor professional stadium in the U.S. to earn a LEED Gold rating for sustainability practices, is equipped with excellent technology – including 4K Ultra HD boards and displays totalling 28,000 sq ft – and fully fulfils FIFA’s natural grass turf requirements.

The bid confirmed that all levels of city and state government fully support the campaign and believe Baltimore-Maryland’s approved urban transformation development – accelerated by FIFA World Cup 2026 participation – will help create a real, tangible community legacy for the city and beyond. In addition to the economic and social boost of staging matches, Baltimore-Maryland will open up the city for greater sporting and recreational use with more green spaces, improved sports facilities and new football development initiatives.

Maryland Lt. Governor, Boyd Rutherford, said: “Maryland is united behind our bid to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to Baltimore. We are fully committed to Baltimore as a great Host City that offers not only quality venues for competition, but a rich history and love of sport that brings people together.

“Baltimore’s diverse communities, public institutions, and business communities are working hand-in-hand and looking forward to providing teams and fans from all over the world with the best FIFA World Cup experience possible. We appreciate the helpful insights provided by FIFA and U.S. Soccer during today’s workshop.”

Terrance Hasseltine, President of Baltimore-Maryland 2026 and Executive Director of Maryland Sports Commission, said: “On behalf of Baltimore-Maryland 2026, we thank FIFA and U.S. Soccer for their leadership and counsel. It was a very positive infrastructure workshop and we’re delighted with the way our campaign is progressing. We were thrilled to present our world-class M&T Bank Stadium and our transformative and compact hosting plans. We are also incredibly proud that our proposed concept offers an unbeatable tournament experience for visiting teams, fans and officials from across the world.

“As a new domestic market for the FIFA World Cup, Baltimore-Maryland is an opportunity for FIFA and U.S. Soccer to capture the attention of more fans and accelerate the overall development of football in the U.S. FIFA World Cup 2026 in Baltimore will provide a great social and economic boost, inspire a new generation of football lovers and create a tangible legacy for all.”