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SOCCER

Which US cities have been selected to host the 2026 World Cup games?

FIFA announced on Thursday the 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup spread over the three host nations, Canada, Mexico and the US, of the United Bid.

Update:
FIFA names 2026 World Cup host cities
Peter FoleyEFE

Broadcasting live from New York, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the 16 finalist host cities from a list of 22 for the 2026 World Cup. “Today is a historic day – for everyone in those cities and states, for FIFA, for Canada, the USA and Mexico who will put on the greatest show on Earth,” he said.

For the first time ever, the tournament will be staged across three host nations, taking place in 16 cities. Two of the locations are in Canada, three in Mexico and eleven in the United States. The exact site for the opening and closing matches, as well as particular games, will be announced at a later date.

FIFA 2026 World Cup host cities

Canada

  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

Mexico

  • Guadalajara
  • Mexico City
  • Monterrey

United States

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York / New Jersey
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle

An unprecedented FIFA World Cup

The 2026 tournament will have several firsts for the World Cup. Four years from now, 48 teams will compete in the biggest worldwide event of the “beautiful game” instead of the 32 in the current format. Also normally the World Cup is hosted by just one nation, the only exception to date was the 2002 tournament which was hosted by both Japan and South Korea.

The three nations hosting the 2026 World Cup teamed up in a joint bid for the games dubbing themselves the United Bid, under the motto “Unity. Certainty. Opportunity.” The trio’s bid was chosen in 2018, beating out Morocco.

This will be the second time the US will host the World Cup, previously hosting the tournament in 1994, and it will be the third time for Mexico, hosting the 1970 and 1986 World Cups.

The United Bid worked to shorten the amount of traveling between venues

FIFA has called the selection process “the most transparent and comprehensive bidding process in football history.” The host cities are also the most spread out geographically. This would normally mean logistical headaches for shuttling teams from on match site to the next.

However, the United Bid proposal designed a format that “prioritized regional clusters for teams and groups.” With the aid of a consultant, software was developed that uses algorithms to generate match schedules that calculates the shortest travel distance from one match to the other reducing the travel time and distance for teams, staff and fans while ensuring that they have time to rest and the health of players is not compromised.

This has the added benefit of considerably decreasing the tournament’s carbon footprint. Included in the planning of the clusters, the trio’s bid proposed extending the knockout round matches from east to west, to ensure “the lowest possible impact on the environment and maximizing television audience potential.”

“We look forward to working together with them to deliver what will be an unprecedented FIFA World Cup and a game-changer as we strive to make football truly global,” said Infantino. “We congratulate the 16 FIFA World Cup Host Cities on their outstanding commitment and passion.”

Cities that didn’t make the final cut from the US include Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Orlando, and in Canada, Edmonton.