2026 World Cup: Potential Host Sites After USA, Mexico, Canada Named Hosts

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 13:  Carlos Cordeiro, president of the United States Football Association addresses the 68th FIFA Congress after the announcement of the host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup went to United 2026 bid (Canada-Mexico-USA) at Moscow's Expocentre on June 13, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

It's official: The joint bid from the USA, Mexico and Canada to host the 2026 World Cup has been successful. 

Per the Guardian's Martha Kelner, the bid received 134 votes from the delegates in FIFA Congress, while rivals Morocco received just 65.

The tournament will be the first expanded 48-team World Cup, totalling 80 matches in the space of a month. The greater number of nations and games involved will require greater infrastructure than usual, and the three host nations will share the load.

Mexico and Canada will host 10 matches each—seven in the group stage, two in the round of 32 and one in the round of 16while the United States will bear the brunt by hosting the remaining 60.

There are currently 23 candidate host cities, which will be whittled down to a final 16 in two years' time, per Fox 26's Mark Berman:

Mark Berman @MarkBermanFox26

FIFA, world governing body for soccer, voted for The United Bid Committee, made up of the United States, Mexico & Canada, to host the 2026 World Cup. UBC winning over Morrocco. Houston one of 23 cities that could host some of the matches. 16 Host cities to be determined in 2020

Here are all the cities that could host a World Cup match:

United 2026 @united2026

3 nations. 16 host cities. 80 games. 🇨🇦🇲🇽🇺🇸 | https://t.co/jbld3pvI99 https://t.co/75IDWh93FU

All six Mexican and Canadian cities will be used, while 10 of the 17 U.S. host candidates will be chosen.

Per the winning bid book, here are the venues that will be used in each city along with their respective gross capacities:

  • Atlanta (USA), Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 75,000
  • Baltimore (USA), M&T Bank Stadium, 70,976
  • Boston (USA), Gillette Stadium, 70,000
  • Cincinnati (USA), Paul Brown Stadium, 67,402
  • Dallas (USA), AT&T Stadium, 92,967
  • Denver (USA), Mile High Stadium, 77,595
  • Edmonton (Canada), Commonwealth Stadium, 56,418
  • Guadalajara (Mexico), Estadio Akron, 48,071
  • Houston (USA), NRG Stadium, 722,220
  • Kansas City (USA), Arrowhead Stadium, 76,640
  • Los Angeles (USA), Rose Bowl, 88,432
  • Mexico City (Mexico), Azteca Stadium, 87,523
  • Miami (USA), Hard Rock Stadium, 67,518
  • Monterrey (Mexico), BBVA Bancomer Stadium, 53,460
  • Montreal (Canada), Olympic Stadium, 55,822
  • Nashville (USA), Nissan Stadium, 69,722
  • New York/New Jersey (USA), MetLife Stadium, 87,157
  • Orlando (USA), Camping World Stadium, 65,000
  • Philadelphia (USA), Lincoln Financial Field, 69,328
  • San Francisco Bay Area (USA), Levi’s Stadium, 70,909
  • Seattle (USA), CenturyLink Field, 69,000
  • Toronto (Canada), BMO Field, 45,500
  • Washington DC (USA), FedEx Field, 70,659

Sports data journalist David Dubas-Fisher offered some insight into the distances that will be involved:

David Dubas-Fisher @dubasfisher

Believe it or not, the longest distance between host cities for the Canada/USA/Mexico 2026 World Cup (2,481 miles) isn't as far as the longest distance between cities for the 1994 USA World Cup (2,687 miles) https://t.co/8DKjlulF0b

The average seating capacity of the proposed stadiums is more than 69,000, while the total combined capacity is over 1.6 million.

Unlike in the 1994 World Cup, the MetLife Stadium—which is shared by NFL franchises the New York Giants and the New York Jets—will play host to the final.

Had the Rose Bowl done so, it would have become the third venue to host the World Cup final twice, after the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Azteca hosted the showpiece at the 1970 and 1986 World Cupswhich Mexico hostedand it will be used again in 2026, albeit not in the latter stages.

Canada is the only one of the three nations not to have hosted a men's World Cup, but did put on the Women's World Cup in 2015, where Edmonton and Montreal were host cities.