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2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to Houston!

2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to Houston!
NRG Stadium will host the games. Photo courtesy of NRG Park.

International football fans, unite. Houston is a 2026 FIFA World Cup host city. The news, announced Thursday, June 16, caps a four-year effort by The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee to bring the tournament here.

NRG Stadium will be one of 16 North American venues to host four to six games of the prestigious international football tournament. Canada and Mexico each will host three matches.

Houston 2026 organizers, which include a list of key local players, pitched Houston’s cultural diversity and NRG’s elite stadium status to the FIFA selection committee.

As soccer fans are well aware, the World Cup is a month-long tournament pitting elite and burgeoning sides. Powerhouse teams such as Brazil, Spain, and France face off against smaller nations such as Ghana and Peru in a showdown watched by billions across the globe — many who take vacations to travel or view the action at home.

Notably, pro soccer’s megastars such as the chiseled Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi return to their birth countries to compete, much like the Olympics.

For some perspective on the games’ scope, these World Cup matches could equate to Houston hosting six Super Bowls, by the sheer numbers.

Continue on CultureMap to learn more!

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Who holds the power in Houston? Composite Getty Image.

It should come as no surprise that after a slow start to the season, fans and media are starting to voice concerns about the organization's leadership and direction. The latest evidence of this involved Astros adviser Reggie Jackson and the comments he made on Jon Heyman's podcast, The Show.

Jackson discussed the Astros reported interest in starting pitcher Blake Snell. He said that ultimately, Snell was looking for a deal the Astros weren't comfortable with in terms of money and structure of the contract.

Which is interesting considering the Astros were okay with paying 5-years, $95 million for closer Josh Hader, but not willing to pay Snell 2-years, $62 million. We believe the opt-outs in Snell's contract were a dealbreaker for Houston. And of course the money played a role.

However, the Astros passing on Snell is not the intriguing part of the story. It was Jackson talking about the club's power structure in the front office and how they go about making decisions.

“Being fiscally responsible is what kicked us out of the Snell deal… That's too much for him… Between the 4 or 5 people who make decisions with the Astros, we don't play that game,” said Jackson.

Based on Jackson's comments in the interview, the decision makers are Jim Crane, Dana Brown, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Reggie. But not necessarily in that order. He also mentioned that they had conversations with manager Joe Espada and his staff, plus some input from the analytics department.

These comments add to the concerns we've had about the front office since Crane moved on from GM James Click and operated without a general manager for several months. Which led to the disastrous signing of Jose Abreu and to a lesser extent Rafael Montero.

Which begs the question, are the Astros in a better spot now with their front office? Many blame Dana Brown for the state of the starting rotation. While there were some red flags this spring, anticipating injuries to Jose Urquidy, Justin Verlander, and Framber Valdez is asking a lot.

But only bringing in Hader to replace all the innings left behind by Hector Neris, Phil Maton, Kendall Graveman, and Ryne Stanek always felt risky.

Finally, what can the Astros due in the short-term to weather the storm while Framber and JV rehab from injury?

And is Hunter Brown the biggest liability in the rotation?

Be sure to watch the video above for the full in-depth discussion.

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