Venue Selection Process for 2026 World Cup Delayed

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Although some people think 6 years is a long time, organizing a 48-team World Cup across 3 countries is no walk in the park. Especially with the COVID-19 outbreak, every year counts. That’s why both FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation have resumed the selection process of the 2026 World Cup venue.

FIFA’s chief tournaments and events officer, Colin Smith, stated that he hoped to complete the venues selection by spring 2021, but that relied on the workshop launch date – which was March 2020 – and doing at least 2 inspection visits. Unfortunately, nobody could have predicted that the workshop would be one of the first casualties of the pandemic and with the steadily terrifying increase in cases, giving a final date to complete the process is considerably challenging.

Delay: 2026 US Host Cities selection

However, Smith asserted that by Q3 and the beginning of Q4 FIFA and US Soccer Federation will have drawn up a new inspection schedule. There are a lot of variables to consider a city in the selection process for the 2026 World Cup US venues. This includes pandemic-appropriate adjustments, high-quality airports, not to mention hospitality accommodations to weather and time zones. Supported by U.S. Soccer Federation, FIFA will select up to 16 venues in the joint bid by the USA, Canada, and Mexico. There are currently 23 Candidate Host Cities: 17 in the United States, 3 in Canada, and 3 in Mexico.

The 2026 Bid will include 80 games:

  • 10 stadiums in the USA (60 games)
  • 3 in Canada (10 games)
  • 3 in Mexico (10 games)

Here is a list of the American 17 candidate cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Cincinnati
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Nashville
  • New Jersey/New York
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle
  • Washington

23rd edition of the FIFA World Cup

At the 2026 World Cup Football finals there is a record number of 48 participating countries. Having three host countries is also a first in World Cup Soccer history. The 23rd edition of the FIFA World Cup™ will begin and end in the summer of 2026. The qualifiers will start in 2023.