澳门6合开奖结果

LOCAL

Can RI score points when the 2026 World Cup comes to Foxboro? Here's the game plan.

Patrick Anderson
Providence Journal

The first goal won't be scored for more than two years, but some Rhode Islanders are already thinking about how to take advantage of the holding matches .

"It鈥檚 a springboard. You're on a worldwide stage," Kristen Adamo, president of the , said Wednesday about the World Cup opportunity. "It would behoove us to take as much advantage as possible. So we are going to be using it to get a foothold in international marketing."

Gillette Stadium will host seven World Cup matches starting in June 2026, including five group-stage games and a quarterfinal.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup Trophy on display in New York in June 2022.

How can Rhode Island capitalize on the World Cup?

The draw determining which national teams will play in which cities in the World Cup is not expected to happen until next year.

That means the specific impact the event will have on Rhode Island and what strategies will be used to capitalize on tournament visitors are still up in the air.

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"The unknown is you don't know what teams you are going to get. We have never worked on an event as large in scope," Adamo said. "One of the things we'll want to be able to do is communicate with people in their own language. Depending on what teams we get, we will be able to find people who speak that language."

Representing one of the three host countries, the U.S. Men's National Team has its initial schedule and will be playing its group stage matches in Southern California, making a trip to Foxboro unlikely.

What's the status of Rhode Island's own pro soccer team?

The World Cup comes as soccer is already getting attention in Rhode Island with the launch of Rhode Island FC this spring.

The new team is playing its first season at Bryant University while construction of its new stadium in Pawtucket is completed.

is scheduled to play its first Pawtucket matches in 2025, a year before the World Cup rolls into Foxboro.

Rhode Island FC coach and general manager Khano Smith runs his team though drills in January. The team will begin its debut season March 16.

Although Pawtucket is just a 20-minute drive to Foxboro, it is unlikely the new stadium will be a practice site for national teams. World Cup matches and training for them happens on grass, while the new stadium's playing surface will be artificial turf.

Still, the team will hope to convert some of the national pride that drives interest in the World Cup into interest in second-tier U.S. professional soccer.

What's the likely economic impact on tourism?

Although Kennedy Plaza is closer to Gillette Stadium than downtown Boston is, the World Cup "fan fest" for the area will be held in the Bay State capital.

Boston Consulting Group estimates that Boston will get 450,000 visitors from Europe, South America and elsewhere,

How much will trickle down to Rhode Island is tough to tell.

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Rhode Island leaders will be hoping that telecasts of the games feature shots of Providence during cuts to commercial and not Boston or Foxboro, but that's hard to influence. (And there are fewer breaks for commercials in a soccer match than in an NFL game.)

The biggest visible Rhode Island impact of events at Gillette Stadium is usually increased hotel bookings.

Hundreds of Navy midshipmen arrive in Rhode Island ahead of the historic Army-Navy game at Gillette Stadium in December.

In December, Foxboro hosted the Army-Navy football game, and on game day, 80% of the hotel rooms in Providence were occupied, compared with 66% on the same Saturday in 2022, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. In Warwick, 76% of hotel rooms in the area around the airport were booked, compared with between 40% and 50% on a typical December weekend.

"... Much like we saw in December 2023 for the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium when hotel occupancy nearly doubled from what typical occupancy rates are for that weekend, we expect Rhode Island鈥檚 hospitality industry to benefit once again when our area hosts World Cup tournaments in 2026," Matthew Touchette, spokesman for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, wrote in an email. "Soccer fans, players and team members from around the world will be welcomed to our hotels, restaurants and businesses."