If You're Headed Downtown and Love the World Cup and Wanna Hang Out with the Mayor ...
... you might wanna swing by Dallas City Hall, where Mayor Tom and the Dallas World Cup Bid Committee and Hunt Sports Group chairman Clark Hunt and a few FC Dallas players (including goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, defender Ugo Ihemelu and forward Ruben Luna) and former Colombian National Team midfielder Oscar Pareja are about to gather in the lobby for an early-morning, come-one-come-all watch party. After more than a year's worth of messing around, today's Decision Day, meaning that at around 9ish, the Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast, live from Zurich, FIFA's announcement concerning which countries will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
England and Russia and joint bids from Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal are in the running for the '18 bid, but England and Russia may have knocked themselves out of the running in recent days. It's the 2022 bid with which Dallas is concerned: The U.S. is in the running with Australia, South Korea, Japan and (front-running?) Qatar, and Dallas, of course, remains on the short list of the 18 U.S. cities trying to get some of the games.
It was but two months ago that Mayor Leppert, Dwaine Caraway, Pauline Medrano and DCVB president Philip Jones welcomed the FIFA World Cup Soccer Site Selection Committee to the Dallas Convention Center, where Leppert said, "I think they're real positive. We feel real good about 2022." Let's see how he feels in an about hour. I think Sam's going. Because he loves spending mornings with the mayor.
Update: For those wanting to follow along at home, FC Dallas's live feed from City Hall is on the other side.
Update at 9:45 a.m.: Russia got the 2018 World Cup. A bit of a shocker. But perhaps not surprisingly, given the more than $150 million Qatar has spent on its bid, the 2022 World Cup games will be played there. Not in the U.S. Not in Dallas. Not at the Cotton Bowl. Not at Cowboys Stadium. Sam will have The Official Reaction momentarily. But Mayor Tom just thanked all involved for "their hard work" in showing off Dallas. "Dallas couldn't have looked any better than it did," said Leppert. Bummer.