FIFA 2026 show hit-and-miss Host Cities



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FIFA host cities for 2026 World Cup announced Image: HKS Architects

A significant milestone on the road to the FIFA World Cup 2026™ was reached on June 16th as the 16 Host Cities that are due to stage matches at the first edition of football’s showpiece to feature 48 teams were unveiled by FIFA.

The ‘FIFA’ stated that the highly anticipated announcement was made on a TV show produced in cooperation with FOX and Telemundo from New York (US) and broadcast live to host countries Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as the whole world via FIFA+.

The June 16th announcement follows the most transparent and comprehensive bidding process in football history, with FIFA’s decision having been made in the best interests of the game, taking into consideration the needs of all stakeholders involved in the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men’s association football championship contested by the national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. The tournament will be jointly hosted by 16 Cities in three North American countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States. The soccer extravaganza will start on June 8th, 2026 and will end on July 3rd, 2026.
 

2026 FIFA World Cup™ Host Cities

  • Atlanta (US)
  • Boston (US)
  • Dallas (US)
  • Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • Houston (US)
  • Kansas City (US)
  • Los Angeles (US)
  • Mexico City (Mexico)
  • Miami (US)
  • Monterrey (Mexico)
  • New York/New Jersey (US)
  • Philadelphia (US)
  • San Francisco Bay Area (US)
  • Seattle (US)
  • Toronto (Canada)
  • Vancouver (Canada)

 
The ‘FIFA’ quoted FIFA President Gianni Infantino as stating, “We congratulate the 16 FIFA World Cup Host Cities on their outstanding commitment and passion. Today (June 16th) is a historic day – for everyone in those Cities and States, for FIFA, for Canada, the USA and Mexico who will put on the greatest show on Earth. We look forward to working together with them to deliver what will be an unprecedented FIFA World Cup™ and a game-changer as we strive to make football truly global.”

Added FIFA Vice-President and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) President Victor Montagliani, “We were delighted by the unparalleled competitiveness of this selection process. We are extremely grateful not only to the 16 Cities that have been selected, but also to the other six – with whom we look forward to continuing to engage and explore additional opportunities to welcome fans and participating teams. This has always been a FIFA World Cup™ of three countries, and that undoubtedly will have a tremendous impact on the whole region and the wider football community.”
 

Miss the bus

The ‘nbc sports’ stated that Washington and Baltimore in United States were not chosen as Host Cities for the 2026 World Cup in a failed joint bid, FIFA announced on June 16th.

The other candidate Cities to miss the FIFA bus are – Cincinnati, Denver, Edmonton (Canada), Nashville, and Orlando.

Instead, 16 other Cities were chosen out of 23 finalists throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Games were to be played at the 71,008-capacity M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore with ancillary events staged in Washington.

The ‘nbc sports’ further stated that the United States, Mexico and Canada are jointly hosting the 2026 World Cup, the first time the tournament will be played in three countries. The US previously hosted the 1994 World Cup. Mexico was the site in 1986.

The District hosted World Cup games in 1994, but they were played at the now-defunct RFK Stadium which no longer holds events and is slated for demolition. The FedEx Field in Landover was withdrawn as an applicant earlier this year and instead Washington joined forces with Baltimore.

The 2026 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams from the current 32-team structure that’s been in place since the 1998 World Cup in France.

There will be 16 groups with three teams each. They will advance to a larger knockout stage of 32 teams instead of the current 16.

Each City made its pitch to FIFA officials last Fall.

Zürich (Switzerland)-based FIFA is the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. It is the highest governing body of association football.

Heimo Schirgi, Director, World Cups, FIFA, Switzerland, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

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