FIFA recently announced the 2026 World Cup would be held in North America, with games to be split between Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Now, some U.S. cities are examining if they can cash in economically from hosting the games. And the short answer is yes, they can, but…
Many remember the 2014 World Cup, which was hosted in Brazil right before the country spiraled into a recession. The country spent a full $15 billion to host the tournament and did not recoup its costs in “economic opportunities.”
However, there are some pitfalls North American cities can avoid in order to ensure they do not fall into the same problems.
Back in 1994, the U.S. spent just $5 million on its stadiums when it last hosted the World Cup, compared to the $3.6 billion Brazil spend on infrastructure in 2014, according to an article by Talib Visram for CNN Money.
The article pointed out that 15 of the proposed 17 U.S. stadiums are home to various NFL teams, which might need minor adjustments for the World Cup, but are also designed to host soccer.
As long as U.S. cities keep their infrastructure costs in check, they should see a “Tremendous economic boost,” according to Miami Mayer Carlos Gimenez.
But how can the housing market cash in on the economic prosperity? After all, while it may create a surge in tourism, these fans will not be looking to buy a home while they’re in town.
But homeowners can still benefit from the surge by utilizing the gig economy. Homeowners can use apps such as Airbnb or Uber to capitalize on the economic prosperity the tourists will bring.
Back during the housing crisis, many homeowners began turning to Airbnb and other short-term rental sites to help them pull in extra income and avoid foreclosure. Now, however, the income can be used for so much more.
For example, Airbnb hosts can now use the income they earned in refinance mortgage applications. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now actively working to help lenders cope with lending in the gig economy, providing more opportunities for the younger generation to move into homeownership. And by 2026, the possibilities could be endless.