The announcement that AT&T Stadium will host nine games of the 2026 World Cup, but not the World Cup final, prompted mixed reactions from soccer fans across the Metroplex.
But businesses involved in DFW's soccer scene are already counting on a big boost from World Cup attendees.
Soccer can be a game of near misses. On Sunday, some DFW fans felt like the ball wasn't bouncing in their direction.
“It's unfortunate, very unfortunate,” Christopher Mangena said. “Given the infrastructure in Dallas, I really thought this would be the place to settle.”
In a live broadcast on Sunday afternoon, soccer's international governing body FIFA announced the full schedule for the 2026 World Cup.
Arlington's AT&T Stadium was selected to host nine World Cup games, more than any other city in the tournament, and was also selected to host a semifinal game.
However, when the World Cup final was decided to be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, some fans in the DFW area had mixed feelings.
“A lot. We have a lot of passionate fans in the Dallas area. I'm sure they'll all sell out,” Mesha Marpi said. “The only disappointing thing was the final.”
The announcement came as an obvious shock to fans who were watching the schedule announcement at The Londoner Pub in Addison.
Last month, British tabloid The Sun reported that the final would be held at AT&T Stadium.
“It's a shame the final won't be played here. Absolutely; I think there was a lot of talk that it would happen,” said Siobhan Hartley, assistant manager at The Londoner. “But it's great for Dallas to have so many games here and it's really exciting.”
While some fans may be depressed, DFW soccer businesses told NBC5 they are looking forward to a World Cup crowd of nine.
The Londoner said the pub has historically seen more business on days when high-profile soccer games are being held at AT&T Stadium.
They have already begun considering how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of fans expected to flock to DFW to attend the sport's biggest stage.
“Drink lots of beer. Think of lots of easy foods to eat,” Hartley said. “And we're really planning accordingly and promoting it on Facebook and social media platforms so people know what time we're going to be here.”