October 5 – The list of potential host cities for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico has been further trimmed, this time to 32.
The United Bid Committee representing the three nations’ joint bid for the event announced Wednesday that nine cities – seven in the US, two in Canada – are no longer in the running. They are Birmingham, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Antonio in the US, and Ottawa and Regina in Canada.
The Committee said it had received applications from 41 cities and narrowed down the list following a comprehensive review of the communities and facilities.
“As we move to the next stage of the bid process, we’re even more confident we have everything needed to deliver the largest, most compelling FIFA World Cup in history and help accelerate the growth of soccer across North America and around the world,” said United Bid Chairman Sunil Gulati in a statement.
The following cities remain in the fight:
Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver
Mexico: Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey
United States: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Tampa, Washington.
Altogether there will be 80 matches in 2026 as the tournament expands to 48 teams. The US would host three-quarters of them, with Mexico and Canada staging 10 each.
“Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to honour the enthusiasm of all the people across Canada, Mexico and the United States through the development of our united hosting concept,” added Gulati.
Now that expressions of interests have been declared, the bid committee will whittle the entries down to a shortlist of between 20 and 25 venues for the final bid to FIFA. Thereafter, 12 locations are likely to be chosen for the finals themselves
If successful, the US-Canada-Mexico bid would return the World Cup to the United States for the first time since 1994, and would also make Mexico the first three-time host. But they face opposition from Morocco which has announced officially that it is trying for the fifth time to stage the tournament even though ultimately it may prove to be a token challenge.
FIFA is scheduled to vote on the 2026 host at their 2018 Congress in Moscow.
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