5 Top Technologies for the Next World Cup
What are the top Top 5 new technologies we can expect for World Cup 2026.
We’re getting closer to a decision on the final host cities for the World Cup 2026 in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Cities, in particular, Houston, with its Soccer Innovation Institute, have positioned themselves to use the World Cup to drive innovation in Soccer, meeting the FIFA goals of:
- Growing the Game
- Enhancing the Fan Experience
- Using Soccer as a Force for Global Good
Considering the buzz around the pioneering cooling technologies to be used in Qatar this November – temperatures are predicted to range from low 70 degrees to mid 80s – it’s worth forecasting what kind of technology we might see in the North American World Cup four years down the road.
1. Virtual Practice
Use VR headsets (or maybe even better hardware) to practice freekicks based on actual situations in live World Cup matches. Put yourself in Cristiano’s shoes as he tries to get it around the wall against France. Ignore the fact he’ll be 41 years old; the man is a medical marvel.
It’s increasingly critical to leverage unused space for more utility. Enter another popular trend becoming a standard part of work-life. From the locker rooms to the press boxes, stadiums have ridiculous amounts of underutilized space in between games. Why not get your work done right where Messi was celebrating a victory the day before?
3. Cashless and Cardless Experience
Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, has been among the first venues to go cashless, but by 2026 expect to see a completely cardless experience as well. Picture Amazon Dash Cart combined with Uber Eats (or rather, Seatz) so the entire payment process happens right from your smartphone.
4. Transformational Stadiums
You’ve seen retractable roofs and fields (popularized by State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada), and Qatar will have the first dismountable stadium in Stadium 974. Now imagine a stadium able to change shape, seating, capacity, and playing surface depending on the sport – a full-on Transformer!
5. Live Betting
Not only will sports betting be legalized across all host states, but you’ll have the ability to make bets as you’re watching the game live. Throw in 5G and you’ll have second-by-second updates to betting lines to maximize your earning potential. Better yet, you’ll have the ability to make up (and pay up) prop bets with your friends all while at the stadium!