For the first time a FIFA World Cup will be hosted by as many as three countries: USA, Mexico and Canada. In fact, the United States will be the main host and the other two countries will help to organise the event mainly symbolically. Either way, the 2026 football World Cup will be played at impressive venues!
The list of volunteers would be enough for at least two World Cups!
Of the hosts of the next World Cup, Mexico organised two memorable editions in 1970 and 1986. USA hosted one in 1994, which made history with, among other things, the highest attendance in the history of these events (3.6 mln of spectators in total). For Canada, it will be the first world football tournament, although the country also has experience in major events. In 1976 it hosted the Summer Olympics in Montreal, and quite recently, in 2010, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The list of cities willing to host the world's best football teams was so extensive that it would be no exaggeration to say that there were enough cities to host at least two World Cups in total! Since FIFA awarded the rights to host the 2026 World Cup, cities such as Las Vegas, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, San Antonio, Cleveland, Phoenix, Denver, Baltimore, Indianapolis and several others in the US alone have dropped out of the competition!
The sixteen chosen ones
The list of chosen hosts includes 11 cities (two more than in 1994) from the USA, plus three Mexican and two Canadian ones. Here is the complete list (listed here are the the largest cities near the stadium, not their exact locations, which are often in small towns adjacent to larger urban areas):
Hosts of the 1994 World Cup (though often with different stadiums):
- Los Angeles - SoFi Stadium - potential candidate to host the final
- New York - MetLife Stadium - the other potential host of the final
- Foxborough - Gillette Stadium
- San Francisco - Levi's Stadium
- Dallas - AT&T Stadium (largest of the stadiums, record attendance for a football game is 105,000!)
Other host cities:
- Kansas City - Arrowhead Stadium
- Houston - NRG Stadium
- Atlanta - Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Philadelphia - Lincoln Financial Field
- Seattle - Lumen Field
- Miami - Hard Rock Stadium
- Mexico City - Estadio Azteca (host of two World Cup finals in 1970 and 1986)
- Monterrey - Estadio BBVA Bancomer
- Guadalajara - Estadio Akron
- Vancouver - BC Place
- Toronto - BMO Field - the smallest of the lot (maximum capacity: 45,000 spectators)
You can follow the story of the construction of SoFi Stadium, one of the most expensive venues in history and the arena where the World Cup final might be held, by watching a video on our YouTube channel:
Interestingly, this will not be the World Cup with the largest number of stadiums. This record is held by the 2002 event, when the organisers were Japan and South Korea, who prepared 10 arenas each.
Five of the venues have full, closed roofs (interestingly, the first match in World Cup history was played on a venue of this type in the aforementioned 1994 in the USA, in Detroit on the now demolished Pontiac Dome).
Anyone who thinks that people in North America are not excited for football (or soccer) and the upcoming 2026 World Cup, would be wrong. The selection of the hosts of the tournament has reverberated in the USA, especially in selected cities where joint viewing parties were organised.
Judging by reactions in the media and on the Internet, the greatest joy was probably shown by the citizens of Kansas City. People also partied in Philadelphia and Dallas. In New York City, on the other hand, the famous Empire State Building was lit up in the national colours to celebrate being awarded the right to host the World Cup.