The matches for the 2026 World Cup have been announced, and Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium will host the third-place match. The tournament will kick off on June 9 at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, with the final taking place on July 19, 2026 at MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey. In addition to Miami, other U.S. cities hosting matches include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. In Mexico, the chosen cities are Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara, while in Canada, the venues are Toronto and Vancouver.
Miami has become a central city for the development of soccer in the United States, especially after the arrival of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami FC. The city’s diverse community has been united by the sport, and FIFA has recognized the city’s wide variety of youth programs for soccer development. The history of professional soccer in Miami dates back to the late 1960s and early 1970s with teams like the Miami Gatos and the Miami Toros. Today, Inter Miami FC, owned by David Beckham, competes in the MLS.
In addition to the World Cup matches, Miami will also host “The Messi Experience,” an exhibition that will take visitors on a journey through Messi’s career, from his childhood in Rosario, Argentina, to his current stage at Inter Miami. The exhibition will feature 360-degree projection mapping, 3D images, video, and artificial intelligence to create an immersive experience. Visitors will also have the opportunity to emulate Messi’s training plan on a virtual court, take digital selfies with the star, and even dialogue with a digital version of Messi using advanced artificial intelligence.
“The Messi Experience” will open its doors to the public in April 2024 and will remain on display in Miami for a limited time before continuing in other cities around the world. The exhibition will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, with varying hours of operation. The arrival of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami has sparked a phenomenon known as ‘Messimanía,’ with the Argentine star creating his own hamburger and inspiring a 20-meter high mural in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. Additionally, local breweries have even released a beer with Messi’s number 10 in honor of his arrival.
Image Source: www.univision.com
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