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Two Dallas venues make shortlist for 2026 World Cup host candidates

Two venues and a lot of work to do.

Soccer: Mexican National Team vs Argentina Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The United States’ joint bid with Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup unveiled the list of the 44 cities in contention to host at least one of the record 80 matches.

The three North American nations’ United Bid Committee announced Tuesday that requests for information had been sent to 44 cities asking them to declare their interest and intentions by September 5. A shortlist of potential venues will be created, with those cities submitting their final proposals by January 2018. The three countries’ World Cup bid, which will include 20-25 possible venues, is due to FIFA in March.

The North American bid will go up against one from Morocco for the right to stage the tournament, and a decision could be made as early as next June.

For now, the Dallas area sees two venues on the preliminary list of candidate cities with the Cotton Bowl and Arlington’s AT&T Stadium making the cut.

Dallas joins Los Angeles as the only market with more than one venue on the candidate list.

FIFA requires World Cup stadiums to seat at least 40,000 spectators. Those under consideration for the semifinals must have 60,000 seats and those hosting the opener or final must have 80,000. The USA alone has more than 130 venues that exceed 40,000.

Our thoughts on the bid

Naturally if we had our pick, we’d take the Cotton Bowl over Jerry World any day of the week. But the reality is that if Dallas wants to get into this World Cup bid, it may have to go with the flashier of the two stadiums.

The one thing that could be on the Cotton Bowl’s side is history. It was host to games in the 1994 World Cup and it has seen some decent upgrades since that time. You do wonder if the City of Dallas would consider further renovations to the stadium if it knew it could potentially host a set of games. A few World Cup games in Dallas would be a massive pull for the city.

What do you make of the list of cities? Do you think Dallas has a shot of hosting some games out of one of those two stadiums?