Candidate Host City: Baltimore
As a strong football community with a great history of a thriving youth football system, Baltimore’s vision as a Candidate Host City is to engage all of its diverse communities in the football world by having them witness the magic of the game. In doing so, the city will share the special sport not only with the fans of 2018, but those who will become fans by 2026 and beyond. The city aims to lead in the effort to unite citizens, cultures, commerce, medicine, education, the environment, religion, and sport to create a better future for the world and its people.
This historic and vibrant city can trace its roots back to pre-revolutionary times. Its strategic nature as the largest in-land maritime port in the nation spawned massive growth over the first 100 years of American history and through the industrial revolution. Still one of the most thriving ports in the world, the economy and demographics have broadened to include government (with its proximity to the nation’s capital), healthcare and science, financial, technology, cyber security, and education. Baltimore is surrounded by one of the most educated and highest median income population centers in the nation. The city continues to grow and thrive while being the uniting central link of commerce, culture, diversity, and transportation along the U.S. eastern seaboard. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sits at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Today, this harbor area offers shops, upscale crab shacks and attractions like the Civil War-era warship the USS Constellation and the National Aquarium, showcasing thousands of marine creatures.
The City of Baltimore’s sports portfolio expands year in and year out as ‘Visit Baltimore’ expands its efforts to attract more and more sporting events annually in partnership with Maryland’s Sports Commission through TEAM Maryland. With the Maryland Stadium Authority’s leadership on the 21st Century Schools Program, Project C.O.R.E. and potential expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center and new arena, the city is just getting started on its ability and quest to impact the sports market outside of the success stories linked to the Baltimore Ravens (American football), Orioles (baseball), as well as local colleges and universities. The future for the city is bright and the ability of sports to unite a community show through bright and clear when its teams take to the field. The city has hosted numerous sporting events such as the Concacaf Gold Cup quarter-finals (2013 and 2015), Army-Navy football game (2014 and 2016) and the annual Baltimore Running Festival in mid-October.