FIFA on Thursday announced the 16 North American host cities for the 2026 World Cup, with 11 cities chosen in the United States, three in Mexico and two in Canada.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first tournament hosted by three nations and also the first that will expand to 48 teams in the competition.
“It was the most competitive process ever for the FIFA World Cup,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino told Fox Sports about the selection process. “We will be working in clusters, making sure that the teams and the fans don’t have to travel too much in different areas: West, Central and East.”
The eleven U.S. host cities are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, and Orlando were left out.
In Canada, Toronto and Vancouver will host games. Mexico’s Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey were also chosen.
The U.S. selections included none of the nine stadiums used at the 1994 World Cup. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Orlando’s Camping World Stadium were the only ones remaining in contention, and they were among the sites dropped in the final round.
“It’s a historic day for U.S. Soccer and the entire American soccer community, from every corner of our grassroots to the pros and our National Teams,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “Together with our good friends in Canada and Mexico, we couldn’t be more excited to work with FIFA to host what we think will be the greatest World Cup in history.
“I want to congratulate all the big cities that will host games. I know you will all do a fantastic job of sharing your world-class stadiums, unique communities and culture, and amazing fans when the world comes to North America in four years.”
New stadiums were selected in five areas used in 1994. AT&T Stadium in Texas replaced Dallas’ Cotton Bowl; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood took over for Pasadena’s Rose Bowl; and Levi’s Stadium instead of Stanford Stadium.
Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, replaced torn-down stadiums that were adjacent, Giants Stadium and Foxboro Stadium.
Orlando’s Camping World was dropped among existing 1994 venues. The Detroit area, where the old Pontiac Silverdome hosted games, was cut in 2018 and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium was dropped after FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, dropped out. Washington’s RFK Stadium was used in 1994.
Chicago, which hosted the 1994 opener at Solider Field, refused to bid, citing FIFA’s economic demands.
Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which hosted the 1970 and ’86 finals and will become the first stadium in three World Cups, was selected along with Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron and Monterrey’s Estadio BBVA.
Toronto’s BMO Field and Vancouver, British Columbia’s B.C. Place were picked while Edmonton, Alberta’s Commonwealth Stadium was dropped.
The bid plan envisioned 60 games in the U.S., including all from the quarterfinals on, and 10 each in Mexico and Canada.