As this past weekend's widely acclaimed Kraken home opener showed, years of planning scores big in the sports world. So it's definitely not too early to get excited about another potential addition to our city's athletic repertoire.

Hold on to your scarves, Sounders fans: Last week, a group with some pretty big names attached to it launched an effort to bring 2026 FIFA World Cup matches to Seattle. The executive committee for SEA 2026 includes Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman, as well as Russell Wilson and Ciara, who hold a minority stake in the Sounders.

The Emerald City's inclusion on a list of 17 potential U.S. sites had been something of an open secret. But the announcement of the executive committee and pitch to the governing body of the quadrennial international soccer tournament makes it officially official.

It's not a lock we'll see World Cup action here. FIFA is likely to select about 11 of those 17 American cities to complement three sites in Mexico and two in Canada. But there's no doubt we have a lot going for us, beginning with a rabid soccer fanbase. The organizing  committee also touts a new Waterfront Park for a fan festival and the city's proximity to Asia, Europe, and Canada. Neither Vancouver nor Portland are currently in the running for a site, so Seattle can claim the whole Pacific Northwest.

FIFA representatives will stop by the city early next week to check us out. On Monday, November 1, the Sounders expect to hold a press conference with officials from the governing body. Cross your fingers.

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