The Last Word: Dallas Sports Commission’s Monica Paul On World Cup Strategy — ‘Like an Onion We’re Still Peeling’

“This is kind of like an onion that we’re still peeling back a little bit.”

Monica Paul
Executive Director
Dallas Sports Commission
… on the ongoing process of planning for the 2026 World Cup and the economic opportunities it presents for Dallas, via the Dallas Morning News

The Dallas-Fort Worth region is gearing up to host an impressive nine matches during the 2026 World Cup, more than any other host city. But according to Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul, the full scope of the opportunity is still unfolding.

Paul met with city leaders and Visit Dallas on Tuesday to discuss the topic, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

The entire Dallas-Fort Worth region is expected to benefit economically from the World Cup, which is estimated to produce more than $400 million in economic impact—an equivalent to hosting nine Super Bowls—and is expected to create over 3,000 temporary jobs. However, those estimates are based on early planning when the region was expected to host only four matches, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

“With the additional five matches, Paul and the Dallas Sports Commission are going back to the drawing board, ” writes Irving Mejia-Hilario in the publication. 

A new, more detailed economic impact report is expected later this year.

Opportunities extend beyond match revenue

One key opportunity Paul noted: Dallas is vying to host the International Broadcast Center at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center, which could bring 10,000 media representatives to the area for an extended period, resulting in a projected 172,000 nights in local hotels.

“It’s a huge opportunity,” Paul said in the publication. “All the journalists and broadcasters will be right here. It’s a great opportunity for us to share all the things they can do here, all the attractions here, and all the reasons we all love living right here.”

Earlier the same day, the Dallas Sports Commission director, alongside a panel of sports experts including FC Dallas President Dan Hunt, FC Dallas VP of Media Gina Miller, and Visit Frisco Director of Sports and Events Josh Dill, convened in Frisco to explore the “unprecedented” opportunities the “Dallas-Frisco-Fort Worth” region will experience.

The panel discussed the extensive economic, social, and infrastructural benefits anticipated from hosting the World Cup, highlighting individual and collaborative efforts of cities within the region.

“While we’re still working the economic models, the economic impact will be massive,” FC Dallas’ Miller said on LinkedIn after the discussion. “From security and transportation to party planning and hospitality, the experience will create opportunities for businesses big to small.”

As Paul and other regional stakeholders continue to peel back the layers of opportunity presented by the World Cup, the potential for the event to leave a lasting impact on Dallas-Fort Worth resonates strongly with local leaders.

Visit Dallas President and CEO Craig Davis echoed the sentiment in the Dallas Morning News. “The economic impact is going to be staggering, in a good way,” he said. “A lot of great things, like legacy projects, are going to be left behind.”

He adds: “This is probably going to be our moment to transcend.”

In related news, the Visit Dallas CEO kicked off a new “Can Do Dallas” branding campaign today, aimed at promoting the city’s dynamic and resilient spirit.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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