The host cities for the 2026 World Cup, to be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, were announced by FIFA on Thursday night, with a total of 11 stateside venues being selected.
With Canada and Mexico having only submitted a total of six of the overall 22 candidate cities, most of the remaining questions were concerning which of the 16 proposed cities in the US would be selected, and which would be left out in the cold.
In the end, 11 American cities were selected to host games, alongside alongside all three candidates in Mexico – Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico – and two of the three Canadian nominees.
Three west-coast cities along the US Pacific coast were selected, and will come as little surprise as they were the only three put forth as potential hosts in that region.
Seattle’s Lumen Field, which hosted Seattle Sounders’ recent history-making victory in the CONCACAF Champions League final will be the northernmost US city in the tournament, joined by San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium and the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
The great state of Texas will feature two host cities, with the AT&T Stadium in Dallas the NRG Stadium in Houston both selected.
Kansas City will be the only host city in middle America, with the 76,000 capacity Arrowhead Stadium having beaten out Denver and Cincinnati to represent the flyover states.
In the southeast part of the country, both Atlanta and Miami were selected, where games will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Hard Rock Stadium, with both Nashville and Orlando having been passed over.
Of the four east-cost candidate cities, only Washington DC was left off the final invite list to the party, as Boston, Philadelphia and the New York/New Jersey metro area having been selected.
As with all of the other US-based hosts, primarily NFL stadiums were selected in the Northeast, with Boston’s Gillette Stadium, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field and the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey all set to see packed audiences in summer 2026.
Of the 11 American stadiums, none of those selected are soccer-specific stadiums, although Seattle’s Lumen field does host the Sounders on a weekly basis.
All three of the stadiums in Mexico’s hosts cities of Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City are primarily used by soccer teams. In Canada, Toronto’s BMO Field is the home of FC Toronto and Vancouver’s BC Place hosts the Whitecaps.
While technically the 2026 World Cup is a joint effort between the USA, Canada and Mexico, the fact that more than two-thirds of the hosts will be stateside will make this a “US + Friends” World Cup.
If the US-hosted 1994 World Cup is any hint, either Los Angeles or the New York/New Jersey metro area will almost certainly host the final, with the other city to play host for the semifinal, alongside Mexico City.
Unlike the marketing and human rights abomination that is the 2022 Winter World Cup in Qatar, the 2026 edition should return to its usual scheduling during the summer months of the northern hemisphere.