FIFA Set to Name 2026 World Cup Cities: Live Updates

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off in only five months, but the tournament’s organizer will look beyond it on Thursday — far beyond — when it names the host cities for the 2026 World Cup in North America.

The 2026 championship will be a multinational affair, hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, which won the bidding for the event four years ago. But the choice of the cities that will get the matches rests with FIFA, global soccer’s governing body. FIFA, which once relied on local organizing committees to take on major planning responsibilities for the World Cup, took those back in house starting in 2026.

World Cup fans will be familiar with many of the choices. Two of the stadiums — Mexico’s City’s Azteca Stadium (twice) and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. — have already hosted a World Cup final. Six of the American cities and all three of the Mexican ones have been home to previous World Cup matches, and two of the Canadian finalists were vetted by FIFA before hosting games in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

FIFA is expected to select 16 cities from a list of 22 finalists, divided — quite unequally — among the three host nations, in its most consequential decision about the 2026 tournament since North America was picked to host it.

The finalists:

United States (16): Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C./Baltimore.

Mexico (3): Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

Canada (3): Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver.

The 22 finalists survived a cull that began in 2017 and saw more than 40 applications from potential host cities in North America, a group that once included seemingly sure things like Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and Mexico City, but also the since-discarded hopes of places like New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, Fla., in the United States; and Montreal, Ottawa and Regina, Saskatchewan, in Canada.

Mexico’s three candidate cities have, curiously, never changed from the first list in 2017 to the last.

“In line with the previous stages of the FIFA World Cup 2026 selection process, any announcement will be made in the best interests of football,” the FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani said last month, a lofty sentiment that FIFA has struggled to live up to in the past.



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