October 19 – 2026 World Cup bid city Houston has launched plans for a Soccer Innovation Institute as part of its Spirit of Houston campaign and legacy programme.
Building on the city’s reputation as a global innovation and technology leader – it is the energy capital of the world and home to NASA – the institute will be made up of experts who will lead thinktanks and support a series of community programmes.
Those programmes will focus on three pillars identifies as: Growing the game for all via multiple engagement ‘avenues’; Enhancing the fan experience; and Impacting social and environmental responsibility to address critical socialand environmental issues.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said: “Houston is recognized as a leader in technology and innovation. We have manyinnovation hubs around the city that bring bright minds into collaborative spaces where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The Soccer Innovation Institute aligns perfectly with Houston’s enthusiasm for the game of soccer, our workto land the 2026 FIFA World Cup and our efforts to build a strong innovation ecosystem with a lasting legacy. This is anexciting announcement.”
A number of already announced partnerships and initiatives being led by the Houston 2026 bid will be rolled into theinstitute, including NRG, the Texas Medical Center, Shell, Chevron, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Council for Responsible Sport, Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash, the City of Houston, Harris County and Houston First.
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