2026 World Cup host cities: FIFA selects 11 US

2026 World Cup host cities: FIFA selects 11 US

MetLife Stadium was one of the venues selected by FIFA to host 2026 World Cup matches. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK — Kansas City and Boston are among the North American cities that will stage matches — but Washington DC and Baltimore are not.

FIFA, soccer’s global governing body revealed the tournament’s hosts on Thursday here in Manhattan. It selected three Mexican cities, two Canadian ones, and 11 in the United States — New York/East Rutherford, NJ; Philadelphia; Boston/Foxborough; Miami; Atlanta; Houston; Dallas/Arlington; Kansas City; Los Angeles; San Francisco/Santa Clara; and Seattle.

It did not, however, select the US capital.

A FIFA spokesman also confirmed to Yahoo Sports that the Los Angeles games would be held at SoFi Stadium, not the Rose Bowl.

The three North American neighbors back in 2018, and offered two dozen metropolitan areas as potential venues for matches. After years of politicking, and then COVID-19-related delays, and finally in-person visits last fall, FIFA executives chose 16 of the 22 finalists, as initially expected.

The twist, though, was that they chose 11 US cities and just two north of the border. They confirmed all three Mexican candidates — Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey — but only Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.

The six cities not chosen were Edmonton, Washington DC/Baltimore, Orlando, Cincinnati, Nashville and Denver. They, like the 16 match sites, could still host team base camps, pre-tournament friendlies and “Fan Fests” — FIFA-sponsored outdoor watch parties. Most participating national teams will train at colleges and MLS facilities across the US

With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, organizers have agreed to put 60 of 80 games in the US as well. They that there’d be 10 stateside host cities, and three each in Mexico and Canada. But with , and Vancouver then re-emerging as a candidate this spring, FIFA officials chose to snub Edmonton and proceed with Toronto and Vancouver.

Why some US cities won’t involved

Like Montreal, some US cities chose not to be involved. Chicago, citing taxpayer risk and “FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate,” pulled out of the running in 2018, months before the so-called United Bid had even been chosen by the 200-plus international soccer executives who comprise FIFA’s membership.

Minneapolis also withdrew due to FIFA’s demands, which include and various local government guarantees. Host cities essentially pay to stage 3-7 games, a “Fan Fest” and other events. They welcome thousands of tourists, but FIFA collects the vast majority of revenue from the games themselves and makes a multi-billion-dollar profit.

“Specifically, we were requesting flexibility on the financial liability caps and/or stronger estimates on anticipated costs associated with the events,” the . “The inability to negotiate the terms of the various bid agreements did not provide our partners, and our community, with sufficient protections from future liability and unforeseen changes in commitments.”

, host-city contracts are widely viewed as one-sided, granting FIFA widespread power to dictate the tournament while shirking financial risk. World Cups also come with civil concerns. They often bring heavy policing and, in some cases, displacement of vulnerable people.

A late last year to demand a series of minimum rights standards around the 2026 tournament, and on Thursday “expressed concern regarding negotiations with FIFA over human rights and worker rights.” Cathy Feingold, the international director at the AFL-CIO, told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview that the human rights plans presented by the selected US cities were “very uneven.” (FIFA plans to follow up on the North American bid’s human rights commitments over the coming months and years.)

Next steps for host cities

Nonetheless, the 16 cities and their residents celebrated on Thursday. Many hosted downtown watch parties promoted and graced by mayors.

FIFA has not said how many matches each will host, but the North American bid committee originally proposed a minimum of five per US city, including at least two knockout games from the Round of 32 onward. A schedule shell could be released as soon as next year. There’ll likely be three games on opening day, one in each country. The top two candidates to host the final, according to a source familiar with the planning process, are MetLife Stadium in North Jersey and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The other stadiums will be Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia); Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.); Hard Rock Stadium (Miami); Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta); NRG Stadium (Houston); Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City); SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles); Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.); Lumen Field (Seattle); Estadio Azteca (Mexico City); Estadio Akron (Guadalajara); Estadio BBVA (Monterrey); BMO Field (Toronto); and BC Place (Vancouver).

Tickets will likely go on sale in 2025. The tournament will likely begin on the second Thursday in June, the 11th. And it will almost surely smash the record for World Cup attendance — which is still held by the 1994 men’s World Cup in the US

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