The Countdown Begins: Exploring the 16 Spectacular North American Cities Set to Host the 2026 World Cup, with Washington DC Left Out

FIFA Announces Host Cities for 2026 World Cup

FIFA, the international governing body for football, recently revealed the 16 host cities for the highly anticipated 2026 World Cup. In a groundbreaking move, the tournament will be co-hosted by three North American nations: the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Spanning across these countries, a total of 11 stadiums in the US, three in Mexico, and two in Canada have been chosen to showcase the world’s most beloved sporting event. Notably, this edition of the World Cup will also mark the expansion from 32 to 48 participating teams, adding an even more diverse and competitive flair to the tournament.

US Host Cities

In the United States, the selected host cities are as follows: New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium), Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Seattle (Lumen Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), and Boston (Gillette Stadium). These cities were chosen after an incredibly competitive selection process, beating out other candidates from across the nation.

One interesting development is the exclusion of the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles, which hosted the 1994 World Cup final. Instead, the newly constructed SoFi Stadium in LA was chosen as the venue for the World Cup matches. This decision highlights the commitment to modern facilities and infrastructure in hosting this iconic tournament.

Omission of 1994 World Cup Venues

Despite the United States hosting the 1994 World Cup, none of the venues from that edition made the cut for the 2026 tournament. The exclusion of Washington DC, which was among the nine host cities in 1994, surprised many football enthusiasts. FIFA President Gianni Infantino explained that the aim was to ensure teams and fans have minimal travel between designated clusters: West, Central, and East. Despite not hosting matches, Washington DC and the other omitted cities will still be involved in the World Cup through various cooperation and celebratory activities.

Canada and Mexico

In Canada, the selected host cities are Toronto (BMO Field) and Vancouver (BC Place). Mexico will have matches in Guadalajara (Estadio Akron), Monterrey (Estadio BBVA Bancomer), and Mexico City (Estadio Azteca). Mexico’s inclusion as a host nation marks a historic milestone, as it becomes the first country to host matches in three different World Cup editions, having previously done so in 1970 and 1986. This decision reflects the rich football culture and passionate fan base in Mexico.

The Selection Process

Finding suitable host cities for the World Cup is no easy task. The selection process began in 2017 when 49 venues from 44 cities initially entered the running. These cities were evaluated based on various criteria, including transportation infrastructure, past experience hosting major events, available accommodations, environmental initiatives, and facilities for teams. In 2018, the list was narrowed down to 23 potential host cities, with cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Arizona being dropped from consideration.

Determining the host for the final match of the 2026 World Cup is still ongoing. FIFA President Gianni Infantino emphasized the importance of making a well-considered decision and offered no specific details on the chosen venue. However, reports suggest that New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium is a strong contender for this prestigious honor.


The announcement of the 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup has generated excitement among football fans worldwide. With three nations coming together to co-host the tournament and an expanded format featuring 48 teams, this event promises to be the biggest and most vibrant in FIFA’s history. As the anticipation builds, the selected host cities are preparing to welcome teams and fans from around the globe, ensuring a memorable World Cup experience for all involved.


1. How were the host cities for the 2026 World Cup chosen?

The host city selection process involved evaluating various factors such as transportation infrastructure, past event hosting experience, accommodations, environmental initiatives, and facilities for teams. The aim was to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for both players and fans.

2. Why were some cities from the 1994 World Cup excluded?

Despite hosting the 1994 World Cup, some cities were not included in the selection for the 2026 tournament. The exclusion was based on a desire to ensure the convenience of teams and fans, reducing the need for excessive travel between venues and promoting efficient clusters of host cities.

3. Why was Mexico chosen as a host nation for the third time?

Mexico has a rich football history and a passionate fan base. Having successfully hosted matches in 1970 and 1986, it was deemed fitting to include Mexico as a host nation for the third time, further honoring their contribution to the sport.

4. How many matches will each country host?

The United States will host the majority of matches, with 60 games taking place on US soil. Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches. Additionally, all quarterfinal matches will be held in the United States.

5. When will the host for the final match be announced?

The decision on the host city for the final match of the 2026 World Cup is still pending. FIFA is taking its time to deliberate on this matter, ensuring the selection aligns with the significance and grandeur of the tournament.

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Doug I. Jones

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