On June 16, FIFA will reveal the cities that can host the games during the 2026 World Cup. The tournament, which will feature a record forty-eight participating teams, will be held in North America. Aside from regular competitions, the event will also feature various secondary events and other activities.
Twenty-two cities are in the running to host the event. These include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Mexico City, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver. However, FIFA is expected to choose between 16 to 19 host cities. Let’s take a closer look at the most likely candidates.
How Are They Selected?
Each city submits a pitch to FIFA, choosing the sites that will be used for the event. Aside from the stadium, other factors such as the availability of training facilities and public transportation are also considered.
When Was the Last U.S. Hosted World Cup?
The last time the U.S. hosted the FIFA World Cup was in 1994. Nine cities helped host the event, including Los Angeles, San Francisco/Stanford, New York/New Jersey, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Orlando, Dallas, Detroit, and Chicago. Will these same cities have a higher chance of a repeat? Or will FIFA go for new cities?
In The Running
In the U.S., seventeen cities are currently bidding to host the event. However, two of these are proposed to be merged. Baltimore and Washington D.C. have joined forces, creating a single bid for hosting.
Canada and Mexico are also expected to have multiple cities in the running to host the event. Three of these are in Mexico: Monterrey, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. Given the limited number of bids from Mexico, it seems almost assured that all three will make the cut. There is less certainty regarding the Canadian choices.
Favorites to Win
Naturally, most cities that entered a bid to host feel like they have a decent chance of being selected. However, they all can’t walk away winners. Some fan favorites for the selection include New York/Jersey City (MetLife Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium or SoFi Stadium), and Miami (Hard Rock Stadium). Other strong contenders include Seattle (Lumen Field), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), and Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium).
Conversely, fans believe that Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Orlando (Camping World Stadium), and Denver (Mile High) are some of the cities less likely to score a win. Only time will tell who is right.