Tenting World Stadium not match for World Cup


No one is more disappointed that Orlando was not chosen as the host city for the 2026 World Cup. I am a lifelong soccer player and fan, I have served on the board of directors of the Orlando City Soccer Foundation and I spend a lot of time talking about international soccer with my 17 year old son. Simple, me and my son are amazed.

Surprised? No, not a bit. I worked at Florida Citrus Sports helping with the 1994 World Cup bid and the 1996 Olympic soccer bid; I served as CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission from 2008 to 2011 and was the first executive director of the Chicago Sports Commission from 2011 to 2014. So I have a feeling for what it takes to submit a viable application for major sporting events. From the start, however, Orlando was doomed for one reason: Camping World Stadium. It’s just not contemporary.

To be fair, Steve Hogan and the Florida Citrus Sports leadership have done amazing things to bring our stadium to the level it is today. But it is not enough to be considered for some of the most important sporting events that can be advertised. Earlier this week, Orlando also missed the annual Army-Navy college football game. Without a doubt, our stadium also denied us this chance.

Sam Stark Winter Park

Sam Stark is Vice President of Communications and External Relations at Rollins College.

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Orlando may be a world-class tourist destination, but it should come as no surprise that we’ve been snubbed as the host city of a World Cup game in 2026. The last time the tournament was held in the United States in 1994, Orlando scored a game and Miami didn’t. It was all about the stadium. Miami has come a long way in raising what is now known as Hard Rock Stadium to the much higher standards expected in today’s facilities worthy of hosting such a major event. Unfortunately, Camping World Stadium is far from claiming such a designation. Without a resident NFL team, there’s very little incentive to spend the money. We should congratulate Miami on getting the spot and know that Orlando will certainly benefit in some way from tourists coming to Florida for the Miami games who will also be visiting Orlando.

Alex Jimenez Winter Park

I am not a climate change doubter, nor do I have a degree in economics. But I understand the basic economic principle of supply and demand and how this has a significant impact on the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.

Limiting the extraction of fossil fuels and natural gas has severely restricted supply, causing gas prices to continue to skyrocket. As expected, this has boosted sales of electric cars. But the President needs to understand that electric vehicles represent only 5% of the total number of vehicles. Meanwhile, the cost of transporting groceries and goods continues to rise; this is passed on to us, the customers; and supply chain problems arise. So we are now experiencing a vicious circle of ever-increasing prices.

The main policy reset Biden can do to help the economy is to reinstate fossil fuel and natural gas exploration and allow exploration on federal land.

Heed the pleas of the middle class and the poor. Listen to the majority of Americans whose life savings are depreciating. Please do this urgently or we risk “negative growth” and a recession in the near future.

Chito Flowers Kissimmee