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The world’s most popular sports competition is returning to the U.S. for the first time in decades, and D.C. wants in. Today, our city announced its official bid to be a host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026.

World Cup matches are still a long way out, but the process to persuade FIFA to pick D.C. as one of 10 U.S. host cities for the month-long men’s soccer tournament starts now. There’s a website and everything.

A group entrusted with securing the matches called the DC2026 Advisory Board launched today and will be chaired by Max Brown, Board of Directors Chairman of Events DC, Mark Einfounder and CEO of Capital Investment Corporation (and Washington City Paper’s owner), Gina Adams, a senior vice president at FedEx Corporation, and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Other advisory board members include famed chef José Andrés, the mayor’s chief of staff and deputy mayor John FalcicchioActing Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and former and current Washington Spirit players, Joanna Lohman and Andi Sullivan

“Right now, as countries around the world continue to respond to this pandemic, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is something we can all look forward to,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement. “And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for DC—the Sports Capital and District of Champions—to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world.”

But where would we even host the games? D.C. is offering FedExField in its bid, per the Post. Back in 1994, D.C. was selected to be one of a few U.S. cities to anchor portions of the men’s FIFA World Cup and hosted soccer matches at RFK Stadium. FedExField hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in 1999, and RFK was the host of matches in the 2003 tournament. The 60-year-old dilapidated RFK Stadium now sits vacant, and will soon be demolished because it’s too expensive to keep it. Now, no one can agree on what to do with it. And these days, RFK is home to a pop-up drive-in movie theater.   

According to the Post, other cities vying for the opportunity to host the games are New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Orlando, Cincinnati, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Seattle, and Kansas City, Mo. Mexico and Canada are also hosting venues in what would be the first World Cup hosted by three countries.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • At Tuesday’s mayoral press conference, Bowser says government-supported testing sites are closed Friday and Saturday. The mayor says if you plan to host or attend a small July 4 gathering, be responsible about it: stay home if you are sick or social distance and stay outside if you go out. Also, keep cleaning supplies for guests and a list of names for possible contact tracing purposes. [Twitter

  • As of June 30, D.C. reported no additional deaths and 35 new positive coronavirus, bringing the total numbers to 551 and 10,327, respectively. D.C. is testing enough people, per Harvard researchers, and we are not seeing setbacks in Phase 3 metrics so far. [EOM

  • The NAACP headquarters is coming to Reeves Center site at 14th and U streets NW. [NBC4]

  • The George Washington University will divest from companies that focus on fossil fuel extraction by 2025 following years of student organizing. [Hatchet

  • Protesters demand financial assistance for workers who are excluded from unemployment or other local and federal government aid. [DCist]  

  • Street Sense will return to print starting July 1. [Twitter

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

LL is on vacation. He’ll return next week. 

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • How food writer Anela Malik is connecting Black restaurant owners with free resources to help them thrive. [WCP]

  • Women in Wards 7 and 8 can enroll in a free six-week health and nutrition class with the WANDA Academy. [WCP]

  • Dacha Beer Garden wants its employees to be able to hear and have college degrees. [PoPville]

  • Trans restaurant workers face discrimination and harassment. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Broccoli City is partnering with Events DC to bring a pop-up drive-in movie theater to the RFK Campus. [DCist]

  • Here’s a new short story by local fiction writer Amber Sparks that reflects on feeling haunted during the pandemic. [Washingtonian]

  • American University students Lily Burka and Ben Clark bring joy and song to your doorstep with Send a Little Love, a singing telegram service. [DC Theatre Scene]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Arlington’s Torri Huske, one of the top junior swimmers in the country and an Olympic hopeful, is headed to Stanford University next year. [WCP]

  • Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have opted out of the abbreviated MLB season, citing health concerns for themselves and their families. [MASN]

  • Ex-Nat Ian Desmond wrote a powerful Instagram post on his experience with racism as a biracial man in America and the prejudices that exist in baseball. He is also skipping the MLB season due to the health risks of playing during the pandemic. [Instagram]

  • Mystics add Alaina Coates and Shey Peddy to their roster. [ESPN]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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