FIFA Announces 2026 World Cup Host Cities

2026 world cup host cities

FIFA has announced the 16 cities of the 2026 World Cup that will take place in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

This will be the first time in history that the tournament will include 48 teams, instead of the current format of 32. It will also be the first time the tournament is staged across three host nations.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino made a bold statement summing up the goal of the 2026 tournament, to be played largely in the United States: "By 2026, soccer — or futbol — will be the No. 1 sport in this part of the world."

The Host Cities for the 2026 World Cup

Of the 16 cities selected, 11 sites are in the Unites States, three are in Mexico, and two are located in Canada. Locations for particular matches, including the sites of the opening matches and final, will be announced later.

The "main" opening match will likely take place in either Los Angeles or Mexico City – both cities that have previously hosted World Cup finals.

Cities that were not selected include Cincinnati, Denver, Edmonton (Canada), Nashville, Orlando, and Baltimore, meaning this will be a rare World Cup with no matches in the vicinity of a host’s capital.

“You can’t imagine a World Cup coming to the U.S., the capital city not taking a major role,” said Colin Smith, FIFA’s chief competitions and events officer. Infantino promised a fan fest on Washington’s National Mall, however.

The three nations were selected as the winning bid in 2018, beating out Morocco. The U.S. previously hosted the World Cup in 1994; Mexico hosted the tournament in both 1970 and 1986.

This joint bid branded itself the United Bid, under the motto "Unity. Certainty. Opportunity," with the campaign highlighting the major financial opportunity posed by hosting the games in North America, as well as the ease and certainly of using large-capacity stadiums that are already in use.

Staging the World Cup across three very large countries will pose significant travel challenges for teams and the fans who follow them, especially compared to tournaments hosted in a single country with strong railway systems that allow fans to travel from city to city easily.

 

 

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