2026 World Cup Announces Venues in North America, Mexico

By Nhat Hoang
Nhat Hoang
Nhat Hoang
June 17, 2022 Updated: June 17, 2022

FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, announced the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, choosing 11 venues in the United States, 3 in Mexico, and 2 in Canada.

“It’s a historic day for U.S. Soccer and the entire American soccer community, from every corner of our grassroots all the way to the pros and our National Teams,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone 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.

The hosting cities were announced by region. The Western Region includes Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium), Seattle (Lumen Field), Vancouver (BC Place), and Guadalajara (Estadio Akron).

The Central Division is comprised of Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Houston (NRG Stadium), Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Monterrey (Estadio BBVA), and Mexico City (Estadio Azteca).

The Eastern Division includes New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), and Toronto (BMO Field).

“I want to congratulate all the bid cities that will host games,” added Parlow Cone. 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 the North America in four years.”

The month-long tournament will consist of sixty matches to be played in the United States, while Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches.

Epoch Times Photo
SoFi Stadium sports complex, which was announced by FIFA as the Los Angeles host city venue for the 2026 World Cup, in Inglewood, Calif., on June 16, 2022. (Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images)

The expanded field of 48 teams, from currently 32, qualify for the initial group stage of round-robin play, and the top two in each group advance to the single-elimination stage. Each team selects a training center, usually near their match location(s).

“It was the most competitive process ever for the FIFA World Cup,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino told Fox Sports. “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.”

Beginning the quarterfinal stage, all knockout round games will be held in the United States.

Tourism is estimated to increase 25–50 percent based on visiting nations at each site.

The venue for the championship match has yet to be announced, but New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted a watch party Thursday with youth soccer players.

“There’s one game we want,” said Adams. “We want the last game. We want that World Cup Trophy hoisted right her up the road at MetLife Stadium.” The stadium opened in 2010 replacing Giants Stadium, and has hosted a soccer match with 77,507 attendees.

“Look at the backdrop,” added Adams. “How could you not play the finals here? Look at New York City, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island.”

East Rutherford indeed hosted the 1994 World Cup semi-final, Giants Stadium, where Italy defeated Bulgaria 2–1. The other semi-final took place in LA at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl where Brazil defeated Sweden 1–0.

The 1994 World Cup holds the record of 3.59 million total attendance, averaging 68,991 per match. The capacities of the U.S. stadiums for 2026 are all 60,000 plus, thus are expected to break the 1994 record.

“There are still some discussions to go on and we will certainly choose the best cities there as well for the opening and the final, but every match will be a final in this World Cup,” Infantino said.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photographs with FIFA President Gianni Infantino following announcement of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico bids accepted for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,  in the Oval Office at the White House, in D.C., on August 28, 2018. (Getty Images)

The cinderella United States Men’s National Team reached round 16, losing to the eventual winner Brazil 1–0 at Stanford.

Host nations have typically performed well in the competition, and the U.S. is currently ranked No. 14 before entering this year’s World Cup in Qatar kicking off in November.

The finals and consolation were both held in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl as Brazil was crowned Champions in a shootout, 0 (3)–0 (2); and Sweden dominated Bulgaria 4–0 for third.

None of the U.S. venues from 1994 were chosen for the 2026 edition of the tournament, including the Rose Bowl.

Los Angles Rams’ Sofi Stadium just hosted the 2022 Super Bowl. It’s known as the newest stadium with state-of-the-art technology, offering among the most box suites of any stadium. It has a capacity of 70k, is expandable to over 100k, and may have the best chance to allow LA to host the Finals/Semi-Finals.

Another large, new, stadium is the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium, in  Arlington, with a capacity of 80k, expandable to 105k.

Nhat Hoang