California Legislators Introduce Bill to Secure 2026 World Cup Games

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Assembly Bill 2026 aims to strengthen host city bids by Los Angeles and San Francisco; Legislation would enhance public safety and anti-human trafficking efforts

Sacramento, CA — In an effort to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to California, today state lawmakers announced new legislation that would strengthen host city bids by Los Angeles and San Francisco. The appropriately-numbered Assembly Bill (AB) 2026, authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley), would enhance public safety planning, coordination, and resources to ensure a safe and fun environment for all World Cup events in California. The legislation also would bolster efforts to combat human trafficking, which can increase around major international sporting events like the World Cup.

“Californians are passionate about soccer and we’re eager to host the 2026 World Cup here in the Golden State,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “Our legislation demonstrates that California is ready to roll out the red carpet and provide the resources necessary to bring the tournament to Los Angeles and San Francisco. We’re committed to ensuring a safe and fun environment for everyone involved.”

AB 2026 builds on California’s experience with the unique public safety challenges presented by global sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics. The bill also will further efforts to reduce human and sex trafficking that can increase around major global sporting events like the World Cup. 

In 2018, FIFA selected North America as the official host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup after accepting a united bid by the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Currently, 23 cities—including Los Angeles and San Francisco—have submitted bids to host games. FIFA is considering those bids and is expected to announce the final 16 host cities later this year.

The 2026 World Cup will feature a larger number of teams and fans as it marks the first time that the tournament will be expanded from 32 to 48 teams.

Kathryn S. Schloessman, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission added, “Los Angeles is thrilled at the possibility of welcoming the world to a united and inclusive celebration of soccer in 2026 and we applaud our state legislators for this important, proactive effort to support the public safety needs of the World Cup games to ensure all fans have a safe and memorable experience in our dynamic city.”

AB 2026 is expected to be heard in Assembly committees in the coming months