We’re having a ball, Seattle. Yesterday, FIFA officially chose the Emerald City as one of the 16 sites to host the 2026 World Cup across three countries(US, Mexico + Canada).
Seattle has been working on this gooooalll for a long time. In fact, the effort to get the World Cup dates back more than 30 years when the city initially tried to get in on the 1994 action. That effort fell short, but ultimately kicked off a stronger soccer culture with the formation of the Sounders + OL Reign — and, of course, Lumen Field as a crown jewel venue.
About 69,000 fans attended the CONCACAF Champions League final. | Photo by Rod Mar via Sounders
Now, the whole world will arrive in just four short years — and we’re here to answer some burning questions.
What does “hosting” entail? Prepping finger foods? ⚽
In terms of magnitude, think of it as Seattle getting the Olympics or Super Bowl — only itlasts a full month. Lumen Field will be the center of everything, likely hosting at least four games through the World Cup’s group stage and knockout rounds — and not to mention all the related events + activities.
We won’t need to bust out the fine china for this, but there’s still some prep work to do before hosting. Lumen will have to install temporary natural grass and the Sounders’ in-the-works training facility out in Renton will need to clear land for more fields. It helps that our Canadian neighbor to the north, Vancouver, is another host city, for logistics.
The Sounders’ new Longacres facility should be ready in early 2024. | Rendering by Generator Studio
Wait, what if I’m not into soccer? ⚽
That’s totally okay — we won’t judge. But an event of this magnitude will impact just about everything, from traffic to development to local beer specials. It’s estimated that hosting a World Cup could deliver $90-480 million to each city’s economy, even after all the costs are factored in. Downtown restaurants + other biz will no doubt see a boom, and every one of those 15,000 hotel rooms near Lumen could be booked solid.
Bright Eyes | Fri., June 17 | 7:30 p.m. | The Paramount Theatre | $35.50 | Led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, this band will play longtime hits + new songs, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. 🎻
Edmonds Arts Festival | Fri., June 17 | 10 a.m.-7 p.m. | 700 Main St. | Free | This weekend-long fest features live performances, gallery art exhibitions + hands-on activities for the kiddos. 🎨
“Riverwood” | Fri., June 17 | 7:30 p.m. | Seattle Public Theater | $5+ | In this play, a neighborhood apartment complex’s uncertain future throws its tenants into the unknown as they face community displacement.
Puddle Jump Play Festival | Sat., June 18 | 4-10 p.m. | Ballard Homestead, 6541 Jones Ave. NE | Pay what you can | Enjoy an inclusive celebration of gaming’s impact on our lives through this showcase of new, innovative games of all stripes. 🎲
Columbia City Night Market | Sat., June 18 | 6-10 p.m. | 37th Ave. S., between S. Hudson + S. Ferdinand St. | Free | Shop for goods made by local artisans or check out the beer garden. 🛍️
We Out Here on the Pier | Sat., June 18 | 2-6 p.m. | Pier 62, 1951 Alaskan Way | Free | This event that honors Juneteenth features a pop-up art gallery and live performances from artists like Stas Thee Boss + JusMoni.
Father’s Day Car Show | Sun., June 19 | 8 a.m.-3 p.m. | 232 Front St. N., Issaquah | Free | Admire hundreds of classic and vintage cars from across the country with live music, food trucks, vendors + an awards ceremony. 🚙
Hot Dog Eating Competition | Sun. June 19 | 4 p.m. | Octopus Bar, 2121 N. 45th St. | $20 entrance fee | If anyone’s pops wants to bust a gut beyond dad jokes on Father’s Day, this is the place to be. 🌭
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
Zillow data shows exponential home growth. | Chart made via Flourish; GIF via GIPHY
This dude’s face pretty much says it all. Zillow recently gave us some data that lists estimated average home values in the greater Seattle region going back to 2000, tracking growth for different cities all the way up to this April. Those lines sure do spike, don’t they?
Eastside enclaves like Bellevue, Redmond + Woodinville saw the largest increase, with home value growth of around 450%, 425% and 370%, respectively. Such eye-popping numbers should come as no surprise for those eyeing the recent trends, although it may raise a few eyebrows that Seattle proper ended up in sixth place at the end of this line chart race.
While there are some signs that this red-hot local housing market in King County could be cooling down, our jaws will remain agape for now.
Now this is service. Five King County Metro bus routes will soon connect to the U District Light Rail Station. Routes 20, 44, 49, 70 + 372 will add the new stop starting Sat., June 25, with three of those using zero-emission vehicles. 🚌
Allen Institute for AI (AI2)’s founding CEO Oren Etzioni is stepping down. The tech luminary helped launch AI2 in 2014 with the late Paul Allen + grew the company where it now has more than 200 employees. He’ll stay in the CEO role until the end of September while the AI2 board searches for a replacement. (GeekWire)
This Sunday is Juneteenth, which marks the end of institutional slavery in the US. Commemorate the day with an event at the Rainier Beach Community Center, a book release party at Wa Na Wari for poet Janae Johnson, an outdoor market hosted by Communion + much more.
High praise indeed. Luxury lifestyle mag Robb Report listed White Center’s TOMO among the top 10 best new restaurants in the US. The publication praised chef Brady William’s “inventive” and “unfussy” cooking skills that blend PNW ingredients with his Japanese heritage. 🍽️ (Robb Report)
Matthews Beach in Seattle closed this week due to high bacteria levels detected during routine testing. City officials advise people + pets to stay out of the wateruntil at least next week when another round of test samples will be taken. 🚧 (KING 5)
Hold off on those Roman candles. Just weeks before the Fourth of July, King County announced a full ban on fireworks, which now applies to unincorporated parts of the county — a change that has not been the case in years past. The rule also nixes sparklers + smoke bombs. (MyNorthwest)
Seattle Parks & Rec has explained what’s up with the empty West Seattle Junction site on 40th St. SW. The city is working on a temporary irrigation system + lawn for the neighborhood, which will be completed in about a week. Eventually, the hope is to create a larger park in the space. 🌱 (West Seattle Blog)
We have our fingers crossed for a local media icon. Dave Ross of KIRO-FM — host of “Seattle Morning News” — is one of 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame. The org’s committee will vote on the potential inductees Tues., July 22-Fri., July 8.
Washington’s largest affordable housing provider, HNN Communities in Bellevue, recently launched a $2 million rental assistance program. The pilot program will help cover rent payment differentials for tenants of HNN’s 39 properties from August to December. 🏢 (Puget Sound Business Journal)
The sun will come out tomorrow — and when it does, you need a killer pair of sunglasses to celebrate. Vincero premium eyewear checks all the boxes: High-quality, ethically made, and (best of all) 20% off. 🕶️ *
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Please excuse us, because we’re getting a little verklempt. Yesterday, WNBA Storm legend Sue Bird officially announced she’ll be retiring after the season is over. While not a huge shock (she almost called it a career last year), it means our time watching this absolute iconon the court is coming to an end. Get to a Storm game soon to say a fond farewell. 🏀
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Editor’s pick: I am a huge sports fan — but one “bucket list” event that’s eluded me is the World Cup. Suffice to say, I’m counting the days until 2026. I also love that Vancouver is also a host city, which means the PNW is well-represented — and that I get to take another road trip.
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