FIFA announced on Wednesday the 16 North American cities that will host the 2026 World Cup matches, with 11 chosen venues in the United States, three in Mexico and two in Canada.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament organized by three nations and also the first to expand to 48 teams in the competition.
– World Cup 2026: What you need to know about the 16 venues
– Don’t you have ESPN? Get instant access
The cities officially selected to host World Cup matches in the USA are: New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium); Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium); Dallas (AT&T Stadium); San Francisco Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium); Miami (Hard Rock Stadium); Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium); Seattle (Field Lumen); Houston (NRG Stadium); Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field); Kansas City, Missouri (Arrowhead Stadium); and Boston (Gillette Stadium).
The host of the 1994 World Cup Final, the Rose Bowl, was not chosen, instead another Los Angeles area venue, SoFi Stadium, was chosen.
“It was the most competitive process of the FIFA World Cup,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino told Fox Sports of the selection process. “We will work in groups, making sure that teams and fans don’t have to travel too much in different areas: West, Central and East.”
The cities officially selected to host World Cup matches in Mexico and Canada are: Guadalajara (Akron Stadium), Monterrey (BBVA Bancomer Stadium), Mexico City (Azteca Stadium), Toronto (BMO Field) and Vancouver (BC Place). .
“This is a historic day for US Soccer and the entire American soccer community, from all corners of our grassroots to the professionals and our national teams,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “Together with our good friends in Canada and Mexico, we couldn’t be more excited to be working with FIFA to put on what we believe will be the best World Cup ever.
“I want to congratulate all of the candidate cities that will host games. I know they will all do a fantastic job of sharing their world-class stadiums, unique communities and culture, and amazing fans when the world comes to North America in four years.”
The following candidates were left out of the selection: Baltimore/Washington (M&T Bank Stadium); Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium); Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium); Nashville, Tennessee (Nissan Stadium); Denver (Empower Field at Mile High); and Edmonton (Commonwealth Stadium).
Of the original “United 2026” bid from the three nations, 60 games will be played in the United States, while Mexico and Canada will each get 10 games. Once the tournament reaches the quarterfinal stage, all remaining knockout round games will take place in the US.
Initially with applicants from 44 cities and 49 stadiums across North America, the venue selection process began in 2017. Potential applicants were asked to “provide information on each city’s transportation infrastructure, previous experience organizing major sporting and cultural events, available accommodation, protection initiatives, potential venues, and more,” which also included potential training sites, base camps, and other considerations.
In March 2018, just months before FIFA officially awarded United’s 2026 bid the rights to host the 2026 World Cup, the list of North American candidates was whittled down to 23. Areas such as Chicago weren’t on the list. , Minneapolis and Arizona, due to what city officials described as problems with financial demands from FIFA.
Other notable cities that were left out of the 2018 23-place list included Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City and Tampa, Florida. Vancouver, initially out of the competition following disagreements over funding, eventually replaced Montreal after it withdrew in 2021 when the provincial government withdrew its support.
A FIFA delegation, led by CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani, paid visits to all candidate host cities in late 2021.
The joint bid between Baltimore and Washington at M&T Bank Stadium was announced this April after FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, dropped out of the race and opted to merge with the Baltimore bid. Under the proposal, there would have been a fan festival on the National Mall in Washington.
With the Rose Bowl not selected, none of the US hosts from the 1994 Men’s World Cup will be used for the 2026 edition of the tournament.
Five of the 2026 World Cup cities (Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area) were among nine of the 1994 host cities, while another five (Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia) and Seattle, were on the short list in 1994, but didn’t make the cut.
Infantino did not tip FIFA’s hand on which city would host the opening match of the 2026 tournament, saying: “There are still some discussions to go on and we will certainly choose the best cities there as well for the opening and the final, but every match will be a final. in this World Cup.”
Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals, will be the first stadium to host three men’s World Cups. Mexico will also be the first nation to host or co-sponsor three men’s World Cups.