A total of 44 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico are on the list of proposed venues to stage matches at the 2026 World Cup if their joint bid is successful, it has been announced.
The United Bid Committee will consider 49 stadiums for inclusion in their official bid for the tournament, due to be submitted to FIFA by March of next year.
Cities who wish to be included as part of the joint attempt from the three countries have until September 5 to officially register their interest.
The Bid Committee will then draw up a shortlist of proposed locations late next month before candidate cities submit their final bid in January.
Around 20 to 25 venues will form part of the official submission to world football’s governing body.
At least 12 cities could ultimately serve as hosts, the Bid Committee said in a statement.
Cities interested in holding the opening match and the World Cup final must have stadiums where the capacity is at least 80,000.
Stadiums with a capacity of at least 40,000 will be considered for group matches.
The list includes three venues in the Los Angeles area – the Memorial Coliseum, the proposed new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park and the Rose Bowl, all of which feature in plans for the 2028 Olympic Games due to be held in the city, pending a formal decision at the International Olympic Committee Session in Lima next month.
In 1994, the Rose Bowl hosted the World Cup final when the US hosted the tournament.
Two stadiums in two in Dallas, Montreal and Toronto are also on the proposed list, along with stadiums of all 32 NFL teams are on the list except for the Buffalo Bills’ New Era Field.
“The Host Cities included in our bid will be critical to its success – not only because of their facilities and ability to stage major events, but because they are committed to further developing the sport of soccer by harnessing the impact of hosting a FIFA World Cup – and looking beyond the game itself to make a positive contribution to our communities and the world,” said United Bid Committee executive director John Kristick.
“We have had a great response so far and we’re looking forward to working closely with each city and determining the best venues for our official bid that we’ll submit next year.”
Should the joint US, Canada and Mexico bid secure the hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup – the first edition of the tournament to feature 48 teams after FIFA agreed to expand the number of competing nations from 32 earlier this year – the majority of the matches would be held in the US.
Mexico and Canada will host just 10 games each, with the other 60 played in the US, including from the quarter-finals onward.
The joint effort from the US, Canada and Mexico is the favorite to host the tournament but is facing competition from Morocco after the African country submitted a last-minute bid.
Morocco were able to submit a candidacy for the 2026 World Cup after FIFA’s Council rejected a proposal from Canada, Mexico and the US to fast-track their bid in May.
FIFA instead opted to keep the bidding window open for a further three months and gave other interested countries until August 11 to confirm their intention to bid.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.