Robert Kraft plans Gillette Stadium to Host the 2026 World Cup Games

Robert Kraft set out on a mission years ago to bring the 2026 World Cup to Boston and New England. To realize the plan, he had to secure commitments from FIFA — soccer’s international governing body — and his fellow owners in Major League Soccer (MLS). He had already successfully convinced MLS owners of his plan back in 2017 when they unanimously voted for his idea. But FIFA was holding out.

The 2026 World Cup in the US

FIFA, however, eventually came around. And in May of 2018, they announced that they had officially awarded the 2026 World Cup to the United States. The US would host 60 games in addition to the final match. However, soccer fans would have to foot the bill for several upgrades at Gillette Stadium and other venues around Boston and New England for this to happen. These upgrades would cost somewhere between $400 million and $600 million — a price tag that Robert Kraft was willing to pay for the opportunity to host one of the world’s most popular sporting events.

Gillette Stadium

There is a belief that if one of the US cities is selected, that stadium could host US matches hosted at the larger MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Russia was the first host nation for the tournament in 2018, with the US the only host in 1994.

About Robert Kraft

Kraft has been awarded several honors and has developed a reputation for philanthropic activities. He’s recognized for establishing the Kraft Family Foundation. It has donated over $500 million to charity since it was established in 1994 and focuses on health care, education, and environmental causes. The Krafts have also been important donors to Jewish organizations. In 2015, Forbes ranked him as America’s eighth-wealthiest person in America with an estimated net worth of 5.1 billion dollars, placing him at #8 on their list of billionaires overall.

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More about Kraft on https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Kraft