The 2026 World Cup is a few years away, but the 16 cities in the United States of America vying to host games will find out on June 16, 2022 if they were successful.
It will be a big moment in these host cities if they are successful, as the host cities will be announced by FIFA at 5 p.m. ET in New York.
[ MORE: Full schedule for 2022 World Cup ]
FIFA has not confirmed how many host cities it will select from the United States, Canada and Mexico. However, it is believed that there will be 16 in total (10 from the United States and three from Canada and Mexico). But that is yet to be confirmed, as reports suggest one of the Canadian cities may be left out for an additional host city in the United States.
The tournament will be the second time the United States has hosted the men’s World Cup (the first was in 1994), the first time Canada has hosted the men’s tournament and the third time Mexico has hosted after hosting the World Cups from 1970 and 1986.
Two of the three proposed sites in Canada (Edmonton could miss out; Toronto is a lock, while Vancouver joined the bid late after Montreal withdrew) and three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City) are set to host the World Cup Games.
That could leave 16 cities battling for 10 spots in the United States.
Latest FIFA Update
After confirming when the 16 host venues will be announced, FIFA also said the following in their statement:
- Although stadiums are a key part of the selection process, FIFA considers the overall proposals submitted by each candidate host city, which are broader in nature and also include ancillary events and venues, as well as key aspects such as sustainability, human rights, legacy, infrastructure and financial impact.
- “Over the past few months we have had open exchanges with the Candidate Host Cities on a number of different topics. We are very grateful and impressed with their dedication and innovation,” said Colin Smith, FIFA Chief Tournaments & Events Officer. “Host cities will be absolutely essential to ensure the success of the competition. We look forward to working with them to deliver what will undoubtedly be the greatest FIFA World Cup in history.
The 2026 World Cup will be the biggest in history with 80 games played in total, 60 of them in the United States and the entire tournament from the quarter-finals will be played in the United States.
It got us thinking: what about the potential host cities since the announcement in 2018 that the United States, Mexico and Canada would host the expanded 48-team tournament?
Below, we rank the 16 cities vying for the 10 host spots in the United States and share our thoughts on who we think deserves to have 2026 World Cup matches.
Ranking of potential 2026 World Cup venues
Host cities that do
1. New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium)
2. Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium or SoFi Stadium)
3. Miami (Hard Rock Stadium)
4. Seattle (Lumen Field)
5. Dallas (AT&T Stadium)
6. San Francisco/Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium)
7. Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
8. Washington, DC/Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium)
9. Boston (Gillette Stadium)
10. Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field) – FOCUS ON PHILLY’S BID
11. Houston (NRG Stadium) – FOCUS ON HOUSTON OFFER
12. Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium)
13. Denver (Mile High)
14. Nashville (Nissan Stadium)
15. Orlando (Camping World Stadium)
16. Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium)
Analysis of potential host cities in the United States
The first four cities on this list choose themselves. New York, LA, Miami and Seattle are all cities steeped in a rich football culture and they are spread across the United States.
But then it starts to get tricky, Atlanta jumped up the list due to Atlanta United’s success in MLS and their status as a hub city, when logistically it makes sense to have games in the Bay Area and Dallas to connect the West. Coast and Midwest Region respectively, although no Midwestern city made the final 10 list. Boston’s rich sporting heritage, as well as its East Coast location near other host cities, should also be considered. account.
The likes of Cincinnati and Nashville seem like strangers and even Orlando can fall into that category as Miami will likely get the green light in Florida.
So that leaves Houston, Denver, and Kansas City as the three cities that could be interchangeable with Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC/Baltimore depending on how their site visits go. The fact that Washington dropped FedEx Field late and only focused on M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as part of a joint bid may hurt their chances, but it’s likely that FIFA will want a stadium near the United Nations capital. United States.
With Chicago pulling out of the bidding early due to concerns for their taxpayers after FIFA failed to negotiate, there’s a huge gap in the Midwest so Kansas City or Denver can fill that.
Also, it looks like Philly could be the big winner out of Montreal dropping out of the bidding in Canada and also because FIFA is keen on consolidating group stage matches in neighboring cities, because having group matches in Boston, Philadelphia and New York would be easy on a trip.
We also shouldn’t rule out Houston being able to host indoor games at NRG Stadium (which is a huge plus in the summer months) and the Texas city has grown massively as a hub of the football in recent years.
What is FIFA looking for?
Remember: venue locations as well as transportation, hotels and other local infrastructure all play an important role in choosing host cities. Tens of thousands more fans will flock to the city where the match is being played without tickets just to be there.
It’s so hard to narrow this list down to just 10 because we all know that the United States is capable of hosting the World Cup on its own and the fact that six cities are expected to host games from Mexico and Canada makes the competition for host city status in the United States even stronger.
Whoever wins the battle to host the 2026 World Cup matches will be the biggest party on the planet and will transform the sport of sports in the United States of America.