ATLANTA—Three firms active in the sports field design, construction and management sector have announced the formation of a consortium, Elite Pitch Alliance, to offer services as Canada, the United States and Mexico prepare to host the World Cup of men’s soccer in 2026.
The 2026 tournament will be the first competition hosted by three nations, and it will also be first to include 48 teams, up from the current 32. Numerous cities will be vying to host games across all three countries.
The national men’s teams of all three nations recently qualified for the 2022 World Cup, to take place in Qatar.
The consortium’s founding members, STRI, DA Hogan and Associates, and Sports Fields Inc., will look to assist venues in providing natural grass fields in conformance with the standards required by FIFA, the event organizer. The members have provided design, construction, management, maintenance and inspection of sports facilities, turf fields and international tournaments in North America and around the globe for decades, stated a recent release.
STRI is a pitch design and consultancy specialist based in Yorkshire, England with over 180 World Cup, European championship and Olympic venues in its portfolio.
D.A. Hogan, based in Seattle, has provided design and construction management services for more than 500 sports facilities including natural and artificial.
Atlanta-based Sports Fields Inc. has completed dozens of projects for organizations within Major League Baseball, the National Football League, Major League Soccer and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
“This is an exciting step forward for the development of World Cup venues throughout Canada, USA and Mexico, enabling facilities to provide world class surfaces for this prestigious event,” said Andrew Brooker, commercial director for STRI Group, in a statement.
Mark Stalnaker, CEO of Sports Fields Inc., added, “This collaboration opens up a unique opportunity to bring the best in business to the table for a common goal – design, building and maintaining world class surfaces for the 2026 World Cup.”