GeorgiaPol likes to break hard news for our readers and we’re doing so here.
I asked all three candidates for Governor the following questions: “The Unified bid won the right to stage the 2026 World Cup. As governor, would [s/he] back Atlanta’s effort to be one of the host cities? Does [s/he] have any plans to actively campaign on behalf of the city?”
Here are the responses in alphabetical order:
Stacey Abrams said:
“If Georgia wants to host the World Cup in Atlanta, we must prove that we are open for business and prove that discrimination has no place here. When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, we demonstrated that our state could be welcoming to all those who want to live here, work, or visit. Now, Georgia must look towards investing in our infrastructure, fostering economic prosperity, and training our workforce so that we can remain a top destination for business, tourism, and global community-building.”
Casey Cagle’s Communications Director Joseph Hendricks said:
“Today’s news is exciting. Casey will certainly have a pitch to bring some World Cup matches to our home pitch!” (Note: I asked this the day FIFA announced their decision)
Brian Kemp said:
“As governor, I will always ask two important questions: What’s it going to cost and who is going to pay for it? If serving as a Host City generates a high Return On Investment (ROI) for hardworking Georgians, then I’ll campaign with state and local leaders to make it happen.”‘
If I can take a moment of personal privilege here: the protocol is for local leaders to champion these bids. Signing a letter for a candidature file is sufficient. This isn’t really the issue to try to make political points.
Atlanta is probably not going to host more than six matches. We’ve got our stadium already.
Cagle’s team got it right. Just say you like the World Cup during World Cup fever. The detriment to Atlanta being the center of the world’s attention for a few hours is, what, exactly?