FIFA 2026 World Cup Houston: Public Transportation, prostitution are issues to watch

HOUSTON – In November 2017, after the Houston Astros won the World Series, there was a big parade in downtown Houston.

The problem was hundreds of excited fans were unable to attend because they relied on METRO Rail to get from NRG Park to downtown Houston and the trains filled up quickly.

We wanted to know METRO’s plan for the World Cup in 2026.

Here was their response:

“Just like with other big events we’ve supported the city and the county in hosting, we will make all necessary adjustments to service to ensure a successful event. We have a good track record from super bowls to RodeoHouston in moving large crowds, and we look forward to collaborating with our regional partners as the event draws near,” Metro’s Deputy Communications Officer Tracy Jackson said via email.

Houston has also hosted three Superbowls. The last one is 2017, netted 107 local arrests, including 21 for prostitution-related offenses.

With an expected schedule of five to six games being played at NRG stadium with full-capacity crowds on hand for each event, the multiplying effect of what could wrong is a concern.

Crime, particularly, human-trafficking-related offenses related to both illegal labor and the sex trade appear to be top-of-mind for the committee that put together Houston’s successful bid.

KPRC 2 Investigates reviewed the “anti-human-trafficking” component of Houston’s pitch and its extensive.

It even goes so far as to identify locations where the illegal sex trade is expected to be prevalent during the World Cup events in Houston. The places include truck stops and parking garages where fans will be parking.

The issue will be addressed by a host of federal, state, and local task forces. Although specific plans to thwart such crimes were not outlined in detail.