The three host countries of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the United States, Canada and Mexico, have succesfully presented their joint bid. After all, United Bid was chosen by FIFA and all members to co-organize the global finals. What are the motives of the USA, Canada, and Mexico why they would like to organize the World Cup? What are the advantages and what legacy these three countries in North America offer global soccer and, more specific, their continent? What does the United Bid represent? The public bid summarises by naming UNITY, CERTAINTY & OPPORTUNITY.
The United Bid received more votes than the bid from competitor Morocco during the 2018 election (134 to 65). These three keywords – Unity, Certainty & Opportunity – summarize the strength of the three organizing, also neighboring countries. Their bid also emphasizes their strong partnership in order to make the 2026 World Cup a great success, by using their slogan: UNITED, AS ONE.
One of the major shared challenges for the United States, Canada and Mexico is the brand new format: the 2026 World Cup will be a final tournament consisting of the record number of 48 teams, playing in a record number of 80 matches. Organization on such a grand scale also entails higher demands on the availability of stadiums, the infrastructure, the reception and accommodation for all visiting fans and, among other things, the FIFA Fan Fest at many locations. Aspects such as fair play, the environment, human rights, and sustainability also require even more focus, capacity, effort and (human) capital in such a large-scale tournament. The United States, Canada and Mexico have emphasized their added value in this respect, as well.
The three countries have extensive experience in organizing large-scale sports events, such as the 1970 FIFA World Cup (Mexico), the 1986 FIFA World Cup (also Mexico), the 1994 FIFA World Cup (United States) and the 2005 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Canada). Partly as a result of this, the countries can offer a high degree of assurance, for example, with regard to the stadiums. The international governing body of football will eventually select sixteen 2026 World Cup stadiums in as many cities. All of the World Cup stadiums already exist, have proven their merit in current practice, are ultramodern, innovative, and have a large average seating capacity (of over 68,000).
This also guarantees that the stadiums will continue to be used intensively even after the World Cup, an important requirement from FIFA. The three organizing countries also have a large number of state-of-the-art training facilities, (potential) Team Base Camps (such as those used by Major League Soccer teams, colleges and universities) and good FIFA Fan Fest locations. In addition, the modern (candidate) host cities have an infrastructure with an excellent (public) transport network, high-quality accommodations, as well as the medical and technological know-how and resources.
Moreover, the North American submission has a prospect of generating over $11 billion in profits for global football. All in all, the organization offers a lot of operational reliability. In the run-up to the 2026 World Cup, for example, there will be no concerns about the progress of the construction and timely completion of stadiums. This automatically means more time, space, and attention to make full use of the impact and opportunities of this large-scale event in 2026. As the United Bid officially describes its four spearheads in its plan: for the EVENT, the MATCH, the FANS, and the WORLD.
In concrete terms, this means that a considerable number of targets have an increased chance of success, especially in relation to legacy. For instance: making the game of soccer accessible worldwide to even more people after 2026, of all ages, from all countries, each with their own background and qualities; to continue to innovate and promote soccer in the broad sense for the benefit of future generations; and to promote social interaction, with soccer as a binding element.