Business Notes: Maryland Among Locations That Could Host 2026 World Cup Games
Plus: Amazon prevails in showdown with Seattle over new tax; Gaithersburg biopharma company receives multimillion dollar investment
FedExField in Landover is among the potential stadiums that could host 2026 World Cup matches
U.S., Canada, Mexico World Cup bid
World Cup matches could be heading to Maryland and D.C.
FIFA announced Wednesday the U.S., Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup. And that means some of the soccer matches could be played in Maryland. The countries’ joint bid included 23 possible locations where the World Cup games could be played, including 17 sites in the U.S. The sites in Maryland that were part of the bid include FedExField in Landover and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Sixty of the 80 matches are expected to be played in the United States.
The joint bid from the North American countries beat out the bid of the only other competitor, Morocco, to host the World Cup. MetLife Stadium outside of New York City has been chosen to host the final. Other cities that could host games include Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Mexico City, Edmonton and Toronto.
Seattle repeals tax that Amazon fought against
The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to repeal a tax intended to raise money to support the homeless that was opposed by Amazon, whose headquarters is in the city. The tax would have only applied to about 3 percent of Seattle’s employers—those with more than $20 million in revenue per year—and was expected to raise about $50 million for affordable housing projects and to help the homeless, according to The New York Times. Amazon and other large employers pushed back publicly against the tax before and after it was approved by the council unanimously less than a month ago. The company also halted work on expansion plans in the city in protest.
Council members said they felt pressured to repeal the tax after Amazon and other business groups convinced residents the tax could impact jobs in the city.
The showdown was being watched nationally as an example of how a large corporation can influence public policy. And some observers are now questioning whether elected officials that govern the 20 locations that have courted Amazon as part of its search for a site for its second headquarters—a group that includes Montgomery County—have fully comprehended the potential effects of landing the tech company.
“Elected officials across the country are paying close attention to how Amazon and other corporations have responded to Seattle’s efforts to confront their affordable housing and homelessness crisis,” Sarah Johnson, director of Local Progress, a national association of progressive elected municipal officials, told the Times.
Gaithersburg biopharma company raises $25 million
Sirnaomics Inc., a Gaithersburg-based biopharmaceutical company that develops anti-fibrosis and anti-cancer therapeutics, received $25 million in new funding this month. The company plans to use the money to move its clinical programs forward in the U.S., China and Europe as well as expand development of new drugs, according to The Washington Business Journal. The company has drugs in development that could provide treatment for scar-less wound healing, influenza infections and breast cancer, according to the report.