Four summers from now, 48 countries will vie for the 2026 World Cup as the tournament is staged in cities across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, announced these will be the host cities for 2026:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium)
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Kansas City
- Monterrey, Mexico
- Mexico City
- New York/New Jersey
Eleven sites are in the U.S., three are in Mexico, and two in Canada. Locations for particular matches, including the sites of the opening matches and final, will be announced later.
This will be the first time that the tournament will include 48 teams, instead of the current 32-team format. It will also be the first time the tournament is staged across three host nations.
Cities that were not selected include Cincinnati; Denver; Edmonton, Canada; Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Baltimore.
The “main” opening match will likely take place in either Los Angeles or Mexico City – both cities that have previously hosted World Cup finals.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico were selected as the winning bid in 2018, beating out Morocco. The U.S. previously hosted the World Cup in 1994; Mexico hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986.
The three countries’ joint bid branded itself the United Bid, under the motto “Unity. Certainty. Opportunity.” Their campaign highlighted the major financial opportunity posed by hosting the games in North America, as well as the ease and certainly of using large-capacity stadiums that are already in use.
The majority of the U.S. arenas in contention regularly host NFL teams, and some are home to MLS squads as well. The Canadian stadiums host the Canadian Football League and MLS, while the proposed arenas in Mexico are home to teams in Mexico’s top soccer league, Liga MX.
Fans cheer on the U.S. during a World Cup watch party in 2014 at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, near Dallas. The arena will host matches during the 2026 World Cup.
The bid touted the stadiums’ luxury suites and club space — promising that all are “ideally designed to host FIFA leaders and guests, international dignitaries, and the premium ticket buyer.”
Staging the World Cup across three very large countries will pose significant travel challenges for teams and the fans who follow them, especially compared to tournaments hosted in a single country with strong rail connections that allow fans to zip from city to city.