With the World Cup coming to the U.S. in 2026, Houston Dynamo and Dash owner Ted Segal told Front Office Sports he foresees a “step change in enthusiasm [for U.S. soccer] that accrues to the benefit of MLS and NWSL.”
Segal bought the teams in June for an estimated $400 million.
MLS hopes to leverage that expected enthusiasm in its upcoming media rights negotiations.
- Segal praised MLS for requiring all local media deals to sunset at the same time, so that the league could package rights to broadcasters.
- The current eight-year media rights package with ESPN and FOX has an estimated total value of $600 million, plus another $120 million from Univision.
Segal is contributing to Houston’s bid to be one of 10 U.S. cities that host the World Cup, along with three each in Canada and Mexico. He added that “there could be up to $1 billion worth of benefits to the city of Houston,” from related tourism and economic activity.
Segal got more good news from the recently released 2020 census: The Houston population grew nearly 10% to 2.3 million over the last decade.
“If you’re a long-term believer in the sport, you want to be in as large of a city as possible,” he said.