What a boon it would be if Baltimore could get 2026 FIFA World Cup games (“With FIFA 2026 World Cup awarded to North American bid, Baltimore moves closer to soccer’s biggest stage,” June 13). It would help Charm City's tourism rise up and recover from the damage of many recent events. Terry Hasseltine, executive director of Maryland Sports, an agency of the Maryland Stadium Authority, boasts of what Baltimore offers, including M&T Bank Stadium, which scored third highest in North America.
While Mayor Catherine Pugh and Mr. Hasseltine are both thrilled that Baltimore is being considered, expressing great things "if selected," Baltimore only received a 3 out of 5 rating for transportation infrastructure, because it does not have a very extensive underground transit system like the competing cities: Washington, New York and Philadelphia. Who knows what other events Baltimore could have staged but lost out on because of this. And then we read that "currently there are no plans to address area transportation, but Hasseltine expects it to be a topic of conversation in the years leading up to the competition."
I hate to bring this up, but 2026 is less than eight years away from now, and since it takes several years to implement anything as massive as a project related to improving transportation infrastructure, we are, as we speak, in "the years leading up to the competition." Mayor Pugh, Mr. Hasseltine and Gov. Larry Hogan need to make this "part of the conversation" now.
Georgia Corso, Baltimore