FIFA Announces 2026 World Cup Host Cities in North America

© AP Photo / Michael ProbstThe FIFA logo outside FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.
The FIFA logo outside FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.06.2022
The 2026 FIFA World Cup was won by a joint bid from the North American countries of Mexico, Canada, and the United States. The 2018 World Cup, hosted by Russia, saw a total of 3.572 billion people watch the games, and roughly 6.8 million tourists traveled to host cities to watch the games.
While FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is still set to begin in November, FIFA is already announcing where in North America the 2026 games will be held.
On Thursday, FIFA announced the North American cities that will host the 2026 World Cup. Individual cities across Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. watched live as the organization announced 16 cities which they selected from a list of 22, each city hoping to win their bid.
In order to reduce travel, said FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the organization grouped cities by regions; East, Central, and West. Infantino said the decision was to “ensure fans did not have to travel too far, to ensure everyone has a fantastic experience.”
The FIFA logo outside FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.04.2022
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The cities that will be lucky enough to host the 23rd quadrennial international men’s association football championship will include: Toronto (BMO Field), Boston (Gillette Stadium, Foxborough), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens), and New York in a joint bid with New Jersey (MetLife Stadium) in the East region.
Those in the Central region include: Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Atlanta (Mercedes Benz Stadium), Houston (NRG Stadium), Monterrey, Mexico (Estadio BBVA), and Mexico City (Estadio Azteca).
The Western region will encompass Vancouver (BC Place), Seattle (Lumen Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara), Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium, Inglewood), and Guadalajara, Mexico (Estadio Akron).
All games in the United States will be played at a National Football League stadium, and seven of the 11 American stadiums (MetLife Stadium, Gillette Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Mercedes Benz Stadium, NRG Stadium, Lumen Field, and SoFi Stadium) utilize artificial turf.
Cities that lost their bids included Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Orlando, Pasadena, Washington, DC (which went for a joint bid with Baltimore), and the Canadian city of Edmonton.
Folks in Kansas City, Missouri, watched as they learned they would be one of 11 cities to host the World Cup in 2026. The city known for their steaks and barbecue has a population of about 500,000 people, making it one of the smallest cities to be chosen apart from Miami and Atlanta.
A group gathered in the Kansas City Power and Light District cheered as they learned their city would be hosting the World Cup for 2026.
“The success of Kansas City’s bid is a testament to the accomplishments we can achieve when we work together," said Sporting Kansas City Principal Owner Cliff Illig.
"Today’s announcement is the celebration of a shared vision that will culminate with the largest event in Kansas City history. The World Cup will bring unprecedented tourism and economic activity to our community and will provide an opportunity to showcase our city on a global stage. We are excited for Kansas City to proudly welcome the world for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
Infantino, who is Swiss-Italian, revealed that some of the final host cities were not selected until the day they were announced.
Cities will now buckle down and begin plans to host the soccer teams as well as fans from around the world. The World Cup has not been hosted by the US since 1994, when a measly 70,000 Americans visited the matches across nine host cities. By 2017, however, soccer had become the third-most watched team sport in the US behind basketball and American football.
During a press conference on Thursday, Infantino predicted that “2026 will be much, much bigger [than 1994]. I think this part of the world doesn’t realize what will happen here in 2026. The world will be invading Canada, Mexico, and the United States.”
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