HOUSTON — We've all been waiting for the big announcement about which cities will host the FIFA World Cup in 2026, but a tweet might have spoiled the surprise.
A deleted tweet from the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority asked the public to join them to celebrate Houston being named a host city for the next World Cup.
Then after that tweet was deleted, another tweet from the sports association said, "IF Houston is selected as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup there will be a celebration party on Friday, June 17."
KHOU 11 sports reporter Matt Musil spoke with Janis Burke, the CEO of the sports authority, and she said, "The word 'if' was inadvertently left out. We are planning for a victory celebration if Houston is announced as a host city. We feel good about our chances but we honestly don't know. I wish we did so I could sleep better tonight."
So although some believe that the sports authority may have inside information on the bid, the association claims it doesn't.
Houston was one of several U.S. cities that put their stadium in the bidding war for the 48-team World Cup.
“They had a pretty good poker face when we made our presentation I’ll be honest,” said Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President Chris Canetti.
Canetti said he and his group have had very productive meetings with FIFA over the past year, sharing how well Houston stacked up as a host city, especially when it comes to accessibility to the area, the facilities that will likely be used for the teams and events and the geographic location.
The economic impact of the World Cup in Houston would be massive.
Just for perspective, Canetti said the 2017 Super Bowl generated around $347 million in revenue for the region. A World Cup host site? That could bring upwards of $1 billion.
“You know, we’ve hosted more major sporting events in this city than any of our competition since 2004,” Canetti said. “We’ve got credibility as well because a lot of these events that have come through here have left being deemed some of the most successful of all time."
If selected, Houston would be one of 12 cities to host games.
FIFA intends to announce the 2026 World Cup sites during a news conference in New York on Thursday.