Cagle Would Campaign for ATL World Cup Hosting, Abrams and Kemp Have Reservations

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?

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drjay
drjay

to stay with sports analogies, this was a big ole softball that kemp and abrams unnecessarily swung and missed –probably doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme, but i’m guessing they were trying to play to presumed supporters and got too cute by half in the process…

xdog
xdog

I like that Kemp capitalized Return On Investment and included (ROI) for us hardworking Georgians who might not have understood him. The education candidate!

bethebalance
bethebalance

Kemp: Real Georgians only like fooz-ball. Forners must pay in order to play, because I still have my pick-up truck.

LTWill
LTWill

I’m an Abrams supporter but I liked Kemp’s answer the best. FIFA is known for corruption and bilking local economies to the tune of millions. We have sports franchises that already do that to us. Most Atlantans would need proof that it’ll provide a ROI and won’t overstress the suburban approved MARTA 2.0.

bethebalance
bethebalance

Oh, please. The stadium already exists. MARTA already exists. You want to do a cost-benefit on sales, sales taxes, and hotel taxes vs. extra public safety and sanitation? If it already works for one football game, or one baseball game, it will work for a few soccer games.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

When asked for comment, Michael Williams said he supports the idea as long as the only teams invited come from the US, England, Scotland, and Scandinavia.