United Bid was chosen by FIFA and all (voting) members to co-organize the World Cup in 2026. The United 2026 bid is a joint bid, by the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Association. It received more votes than the bid from competitor Morocco during the 2018 election. What does the United Bid of the North American countries, the United States, Canada and Mexico, represent?
What actions, characteristics, and facilities do these countries want to use to distinguish themselves as hosts, both for the World Cup in particular as well as for the sport of soccer in general?
All of it is explained in the (public) United Bid. The strength of the three (!) organizing countries is summarized in three keywords: UNITY, CERTAINTY & OPPORTUNITY. The neighboring countries, closely linked over the centuries by their geographical location, history and culture, will naturally work together as partners in order to make the 2026 World Cup a great success. This is explicitly addressed in their fourth ‘slogan’: UNITED, AS ONE.
2026: brand new World Cup format
One of the major 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. See also: more information about the schedule.
Large-scale World Soccer tournament requirements
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.
USA, Canada and Mexico: huge combined experience
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).
Ultramodern, innovative stadiums: also a guarantee for legacy
Partly as a result of this, the countries can offer a high degree of assurance, for example, with regard to the stadiums. All of the World Cup stadiums already exist, have already 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.
North America provides excellent venues, infrastructure and services
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. The Bid also offers seven additional Candidate Host Cities and Venues, to boost competition between potential host cities and allow FIFA to choose the very best venues. FIFA will eventually select sixteen 2026 World Cup stadiums in as many cities.
Operational reliability enables using World Cup’s full potential
All in all, the organization in North America 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.
For the benefit of future generations
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. The same goes for the interaction with the volunteers and fans, who will either attend the matches in North America or follow the 2026 World Cup elsewhere in the world via live streaming or TV. See also (coming soon): the commercial and economic opportunities of the 2026 World Cup in North America. You can also read about record revenues, ticket sales and record numbers of visitors to the World Cup held in a lucrative region: the world’s largest sports sponsor market.