Soccer fans get a kick that World Cup will return to America in 2026

The announcement that the World Cup will return to America in 2026 has soccer fans like Matt Puglise ecstatic. (WJAR)

The announcement that the World Cup will return to America in 2026 has soccer fans like Matt Puglise ecstatic.

He leads The Rebellion, a New England Revolution fan group, and is vice president of the local chapter of the American Outlaws, supporters of the U.S. soccer team.

“We definitely expect to see a big increase in members, not only for the 2026 World Cup, but leading up to it with the excitement that will build around it,” Puglise told NBC 10 News on Wednesday.

He said matches in Foxborough would have an impact beyond soccer excitement.

“I definitely expect to see, especially with the proximity to Gillette, hotel business, restaurant business, just tourism in general go through the roof,” he said.

Others shared similar sentiments.

“It’s going to be great for the surrounding area with hotel community and restaurant community I think will do very, very well,” said John Gibbons, who is the executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission.

Gibbons pointed out that Providence routinely plays host to NFL teams visiting the New England Patriots. He said World Cup matches in Foxborough could pump a million dollars into the local economy.

“Especially if we have teams that travel well, so if we had an Italy, if we had an Ireland, we had a Portugal, I think even Germany, teams that travel very well, I think that would draw a lot of fans into the area,” Gibbons said.

At the Brass Monkey restaurant in Providence, owner Oscar Worthington has built a soccer clientele by hosting American Outlaws watch parties. He’s having an all-day event Saturday for the 2018 World Cup that is kicking off in Russia, and is already looking way ahead.

“I guarantee you these guys and myself are already talking about what we’re going to do eight years from now, what the party’s going to be like. So, it’s definitely exciting,” Worthington said.

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