The United States, Canada, and Mexico will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. But three countries hosting is something new for the association, which means there is a lot of buzz about where the games will take place. Read on to find out what this tri-hosting means for 2026, plus check out page 5 to see which cities will likely host.
The United States, Canada, and Mexico were selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup
The three countries put together one bid, dubbed the “United Bid” for North America to host the 2026 World Cup. In June 2018, it was announced they’d won. According to Yahoo, the U.S. had first tried to formulate a bid in 2022, but it was beat out by Qatar. Qatar’s win became controversial, as some said bribery and corruption were its basis. The U.S. partnered with Canada and Mexico for 2026, and finally won the coveted bid.
They beat out one bid from Morocco for the hosting rights
For 2026, there was only one other bid to beat: Morocco. The United Bid won by a 134 to 65 vote. Morocco has failed several times to win a bid to host. Africa has only hosted the World Cup once before — South Africa in 2010. But the biggest deciding factor was that between these three countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico), the majority of the infrastructure was already in place. Morocco, similarly to the previous World Cup locations, would have needed to spend billions to build venues to host.
The U.S. will host 60 games, and Canada and Mexico will host 10 each
Canada and Mexico have far fewer host cities than the U.S does. Both Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each, and the U.S. will host 60 games. The Mexican Cities expected to host are Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City. The expected Canadian cities are Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton. Each stadium holds anywhere from 30,000 to 90,000 people.
17 of the 23 potential stadiums already exist, and only six need renovations
Again, the infrastructure played a big role in the United Bid’s victory. Between the three countries, only six venues would need to be renovated, and none need to be built. That saves a lot of money, which means the organization can increase its profits. Several stadiums in the U.S. are in the running to host, including Baltimore, Boston, and Dallas. But some suspect none of those will be the actual cities chosen.
In the US, games will likely take place in California, Atlanta, Texas, and New Jersey
Right now, the U.S. has proposed four cities to hold the semifinals and finals of the tournament. According to Yahoo, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California has been suggested for the opener. The Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas have been proposed for the semifinals. The U.S. wants the final hosted at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside Manhattan. But no venues have been finalized.
This also means the U.S., Canada, and Mexico automatically qualify
By winning the bid to host, these three countries automatically qualify for the cup. And while Mexico typically has no trouble qualifying, this is great news for the U.S., which failed to qualify for 2018. Plus, Canada has failed to qualify for a World Cup since 1986, so it would give that country a great opportunity to make an appearance. Also, the World Cup will expand to 48 teams in 2026, compared to 32 teams now.
The United Bid will be the most profitable of any World Cup in history
One of the most important parts of the United Bid are the potential profits it could bring to FIFA. USsoccer.com reported that of the $14 billion in projected revenue, about $11 billion should be profits. The profits will be shared with the member associations. The hope is that with a greater profit, soccer/football will be expanded around the world, leading to a greater interest in the sport.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!