After narrowly missing out for 2022, the most prestigious tournament in world soccer is coming back to the United States in 2026.
The U.S. won its three-way bid with Canada and Mexico – known as United 2026 – to host the men's FIFA World Cup, beating out Morocco, the only other nation to bid. As part of the bid, which was decided on by more than 200 member nations and announced at the annual FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday, the U.S. will host 60 games while Canada and Mexico will each host 10. The U.S. will host all the playoff games, beginning with the quarterfinals.
The “united bid” won out over Morocco, 134-65.
This will be the United States’ first time hosting World Cup matches since 1994. That tournament still holds the all-time World Cup attendance record, despite there being only 24 teams involved compared to 32 today. By 2026, the tournament will have expanded to 48 teams.
Highlights of the bid included promising $11 billion in profit on more than $14 billion in revenue and an already strong infrastructure for hosting. Of the 23 stadiums that comprised the bid, 17 are already prepared to host a World Cup match and only six would require some kind of renovation before welcoming the world.
The exact cities that will host games is something that will be decided in the coming years. U.S. cities in the running include Pasadena, California; Atlanta; Arlington, Texas and East Rutherford, New Jersey, for key games including semifinals and finals. Other cities being evaluated to host games include Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Canada is looking at Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta, and Mexico is evaluating Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
The host nations will receive automatic bids to compete in the tournament. The U.S. team did not qualify for this year’s World Cup, which begins Thursday in Russia.