Patriots Owner Bob Kraft Getting Involved in 2026 World Cup Bid

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A majority of American sports fans may not love Robert Kraft, but they may have to root for him now anyway. At least, if they want the U.S. (along with Mexico and Canada) to land the World Cup in 2026New England Patriots Owner Bob Kraft may have deplorably awful politics, or at least terrible taste in politicians, but the man certainly dominates the sports executive game.

Since Robert Kraft purchased the New England Patriots in 1994, the club has won more games, playoff games (28), division titles (16), conference titles (8) and Super Bowl championships (5) than any other team in the NFL.

During that time, his club has evolved into plucky upstart, to front-runner fan favorite, to just plain reviled. New England fans can claim a lot of “They hate us cuz they ain’t us” in the past two decades.

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Today, the Patriots are viewed repugnantly by so many these days that to be on their side now makes you a football fan hipster.

Even the Bob Kraft haters, and there are many of them, need to recognize the value of his own personal Horatio Alger story. He went from ticket holder in the last row to club owner, a guy who went to public school just like the rest of us. Kraft then attended Columbia on an academic scholarship, he received a fellowship to Harvard Business School, where he earned a MBA.

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You know that he knows football, but he also knows futbol, or world football as well. He secured Foxboro Stadium as one of the nine host venues for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and the Kraft family became the founding Investor/Operator of the New England Revolution, one of Major League Soccer’s 10 charter clubs for its inaugural season in 1996.

Under the Bob Kraft regime, the New England Revolution have made five MLS Cup appearances and celebrated both a U.S. Open Cup and a SuperLiga title. Foxborough has also played host to the MLS Cup three times.

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Today, Kraft was named honorary chairman to the USA-Mexico-Canada joint 2026 World Cup bid committee. U.S. Soccer sent out a press release announcing his addition to the World Cup effort Wednesday.

“My first exposure to world class soccer and the unique power of the FIFA World Cup came in 1994 when we hosted six games at Foxboro Stadium. The intensity of the matches, the truly exceptional athleticism of the competitors, the pageantry and energy of the crowds all created an environment unlike anything else in sport,” reads a statement from USSF attributed to Bob Kraft.

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“Most importantly, the month-long event epitomized all that is great about athletic competition. People from all nationalities and backgrounds gathered together in communal celebrations of the international competition. The FIFA World Cup’s ability to build bridges and bring people together is unlike any other medium. By 2026, more than 30 years will have passed since we hosted the FIFA World Cup and its return to North America is long overdue.

“I am honored to be serving in this role and eager to do everything in my power to bring the FIFA World Cup back to North America to share the competition with all the deserving fans in the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

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Other members include Sunil Gulati (Chairman), Steven Reed (Canada), Peter Montopoli (Canada), Decio De Maria (Mexico), Guillermo Cantu (Mexico), Carlos Cordeiro (USA), Donna Shalala (USA), Dan Flynn (USA), Don Garber (USA) and Victor Montagliani (CONCACAF).

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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