US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Mar. 4, 2024: Another try?

A new proposal calls for the return of a theme featured over 30 years ago marking U.S. involvement in hosting a World Cup soccer championship.

Images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

You can read all about proposed legislation that has been introduced for another commemorative program for 2026 in another article this week, but with the introduction of the legislation and its uncertain fate, let the debate begin about the worthiness of the subject.

In this case, it’s another sports theme — World Cup soccer. Granted, the U.S. is an infrequent host of the international competition, but do we have to issue a commemorative every time? Will Canada and Mexico do the same since they are sharing hosting duties? (Canada did issue commemoratives when hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup).

Issuing commemoratives for the World Cup is not a new idea. When the United States last hosted the tournament, it was 1994, and the World Cup Tournament commemorative program was one of four programs offered that year. Admittedly, it was the best-selling of the four, with 1.5 million coins total in clad, silver and gold coins sold individually and in sets in Proof and Uncirculated.

The measure is the fourth introduced for legislative consideration for a 2026 program, following previous measures designed to recognize the Erie Canal, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and baseball star Roberto Clemente (but it’s only late February). Most commemorative programs tend to wither away in committee with few making it to signature and public law.

If you’re a sports fan, you can make a case for an international competition, I’m sure, but we’ve been there and done that. Does history need to repeat itself in this case? After all, the Los Angeles Olympics are just around the corner.

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