2026 World Cup Host City Insights – Dallas

January 22, 2024

Mike Koeshartanto

2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup Countdown

In the first edition of a new series highlighting 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup host markets, we begin with Dallas – host of five Group Stage games, two Round of 32 games, one Quarterfinal game, and Semifinal game. Whether you’re a marketer, a brand, or just a fan, we’ve gathered a sampling of insights to help you capitalize on Dallas World Cup soccer interest.

Market Overview

Before we dive into soccer-specific info, let’s start with a snapshot of the demographics of the Dallas and Fort Worth metro areas in comparison to the rest of the United States. Below are insights into population, age, race, family size, education, and income via the U.S. Census Bureau.

CategoryUnited StatesDallasFt. Worth
Persons <18 years old21.7%24.4%26.8%
Persons 65+ years old17.3%11.0%10.1%
White, alone75.5%48.1%51.8%
Black, alone13.6%23.6%19.2%
Hispanic or Latino19.1%42.4%35.2%
Persons in HH2.572.462.78
Language other than English spoken by age 5+21.7%42.4%32.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher34.3%36.5%31.2%
Median HH income$75,149$63,985$72,726

The Dallas-Fort Worth DMA is the fifth-ranked DMA – a place its held since 2007. As of the 2022-23 television season, the area surpassed 3 million TV households for the first time, accounting for 2.46% of all U.S. TV households. For comparison sake, here are the rest of the top five DMA:

  1. New York – 7.7 million (6.24%)
  2. Los Angeles – 5.8 million (4.72%)
  3. Chicago – 3.6 million (2.93%)
  4. Philadelphia – 3.1 million (2.51%)
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth – 3.0 million (2.46%)

Also noteworthy – FOX and Telemundo, the English and Spanish-language broadcasters of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, each have owned and operated local affiliates (KDFW and KXTX-TV, respectively) serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Brief Dallas-Area Soccer History

For a variety of reasons, the most important figure in Dallas-area pro soccer since the late-1960s is Lamar Hunt. In 1967, he founded the Dallas Tornado as a member of the United Soccer Association. A year later, the league merged with the National Professional Soccer League to form the National American Soccer League. Hunt’s Tornado would go on to win the league an 1971 and finish runners-up in 1973. In 1981, Hunt and his business partner merged the team with the Tampa Bay Rowdies before selling the team to local investors two years later. One year later the NASL would collapse.

Before touching on Hunt’s next soccer investment, one important to note is his involvement in the NFL. Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, was involved in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. The league wanted to disallow team owners from owning teams in other professional sports leagues. As a result, the NASL and 25 of its member teams brought the antitrust lawsuit to court to test its legality under the Sherman Act in 1979. The ruling in favor of NASL allowed Hunt to remain an owner of the Dallas Tornado and Kansas City Chiefs.

Fast forwarding to 1996, Hunt was involved in the foundation of Major League Soccer and, from the onset, owned two clubs: the Kansas City Wizards and the Columbus Crew. In 2003, Hunt announced he’d purchase a third team, the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas), and partially finance the soccer-specific stadium the club still plays in today. FC Dallas remains under the ownership of the Hunt family, with Lamar Hunt’s son, Clark, serving as Chairman.

Beyond the professional ranks, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, much like most of Texas, is a hotbed for youth soccer. The area has also hosted the Dallas Cup – arguably the most well-known youth soccer tournament in the U.S. – since 1980.

A history of hosting events

Of course, the Dallas area is no stranger to hosting major soccer events. Six games were played at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup and FIFA even put the tournament’s International Broadcast Center headquarters in the city.

In 2009, construction of the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium – AT&T Stadium – finished, ushering in a new era of soccer hosting for the market. Since then, the 80,000-seat stadium (with expansion ability to 100,000) has hosted numerous soccer events, including numerous Concacaf Gold Cup and Nations League games, Club Team friendlies, National Team friendlies, and more. The stadium will also play host to several Copa America 2024 games this summer.

The stadium’s soccer hosting prowess will be on full display across nine total games of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup. There’s plenty of opportunity for cross-sport promotion between the Cowboys and other events hosted at the stadium – something with which we’re quite familiar.

In 2022, we worked with FOX Sports to promote the upcoming FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar – the first-ever winter tournament – through a series of larger-than-life soccer snow globe stunts at sporting events, including a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium.

Soccer interest in Dallas-Fort Worth

Using 2023 data from the U.S. Census, MRI-Simmons, and Esri’s Market Potential Index, below is a table illustrating the percent of the DMA’s population who participated or is likely to participate in several soccer-specific categories. Also included are the respective indexes, highlighting the amount the DMA over-indexes relative to the general U.S. population.

Category% of PopulationIndex
Participated in Soccer/12 Mo2.79%118
Watch World Cup Soccer4.32%107
Watch International Soccer4.99%114
Watch the U.S. Men's National Team2.98%111
Watch the U.S. Women's National Team2.66%103
Watch MLS4.29%117
Putting Dallas-Area Zip Codes under the soccer microscope

With background on the DMA and the relationship of its residents to soccer, let’s now combine the two and dive a bit deeper by identifying key zip codes with residents who over-index in soccer-specific engagements.

United States of Soccer

Soccer’s time has come. To grasp the impact the World Cup will have, you must first get to know the American fans and their passion for the sport. Soccer isn’t a trend — it’s here to stay and it’s growing fast. Our report goes deep into the American soccer audience, shedding light on its demographics, characteristics, and the factors that most shape fandom. 

Using similar data referenced above, below is a map of the Dallas-Fort Worth DMA that highlights specific zip codes meeting the following criteria:

  • Over-index in participating in soccer in the last 12 months
  • Over-index in likely demand for watching the World Cup on TV

Of the 422 zip codes within the DMA, 150 (36%) meet the above criteria. Notably, all are within 50 miles of AT&T Stadium – home of nine games in the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Curious which individual zip codes over-index most in both criteria? Check out the scatter plot graph below for more insight.

For ease of sorting and discovery, here are the top 20 zip codes for each.

Zip Code2023 Participated in Soccer/12 Mo (Index)
75211 (Dallas)210
75220 (Dallas)209
76010 (Arlington)199
75223 (Dallas)196
76164 (Fort Worth)196
76115 (Fort Worth)191
75253 (Dallas)189
75231 (Dallas)188
75246 (Dallas)187
76106 (Fort Worth)187
76111 (Fort Worth)187
75061 (Irving)182
75212 (Dallas)181
75224 (Dallas)180
75172 (Wilmer)177
75227 (Dallas)174
75240 (Dallas)174
75217 (Dallas)173
75208 (Dallas)171
75236 (Dallas)168

Zip Code2023 Watch World Cup Soccer (Index)
75223 (Dallas)169
76115 (Fort Worth)161
75236 (Dallas)161
75211 (Dallas)160
76164 (Fort Worth)157
75246 (Dallas)156
75208 (Dallas)155
76106 (Fort Worth)154
76111 (Fort Worth)153
75212 (Dallas)153
75227 (Dallas)152
76014 (Arlington)151
75172 (Wilmer)148
75180 (Balch Springs)148
75253 (Dallas)147
75217 (Dallas)147
75237 (Dallas)147
75224 (Dallas)145
75051 (Grand Prairie)142
75042 (Garland)140

Searching for “2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup

We’ve still got some time before the tournament kicks off in June of 2026, but it’s interesting to note the search volume trends within the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Below is the volume of Google searches for “2026 FIFA World Cup” since January 1, 2022.

Two notable spikes in searches are in June 2022 and November-December 2022. The former was the period during which FIFA announced the host markets for the 2026 tournament. The latter is during the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup when searches were likely increased due, in part, to preview discussions around 2026.

The next notable spike in search volume is forming, as the news of Dallas hosting multiple games in the tournament spreads.

Note: the embedded graph will not populate if you use Safari as your browser. To view the graph, click here.