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Potential 2026 World Cup host cities announced

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49 stadiums, 44 cities, 3 countries, 1 tournament

Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia - Previews Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

As the March 16, 2018 due date for the official bid for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup draws near, preparations by the United Bid Committee to submit it are coming into focus. To that end, the committee has selected 44 cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to state their interest in being considered for hosting matches during the tournament. A total of 49 stadiums in and nearby those cities will be considered. Ultimately, the committee will select between 20-25 cities to be included in the final bid.

Cities will announce their desire to host matches by September 5, 2017 before making final bids in January of 2018. If the United Bid is selected by FIFA, a dozen or more cities will be chosen as host cities for the tournament. Locations not chosen to hold matches will be still be able to put on events related to the World Cup, such as: the preliminary and final draw, hosting team base camps, and being the home of the International Broadcast Center.

A total of 48 teams will participate in what will be the largest World Cup field ever. A total of 80 matches will be contested in the tournament and 60 games will be played in the U.S. with Canada and Mexico evenly splitting the remaining 20. Requirements for holding matches are a minimum capacity of 40,000 for group matches and at least 80,000 seats for the opening game and final.

There are several stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico that meet the requirement for hosting the opening and final match including the legendary Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and FedEx Field nearby Washington, D.C.

The candidate cities have several criteria to meet in order to be considered in the final bid as detailed by a statement released by the United Bid Committee:

“In addition to a stadium capable of hosting international soccer, each city has to propose top international-level training sites and locations for team base camps, and hotels for teams, staff and VIP’s. The Bid Committee will also evaluate cities on their commitment to sustainable event management, aspirations to develop soccer, and the positive social impact they anticipate in the local community and beyond stemming from the event.”

All of the cities and stadiums that are being invited to bid for hosing games are:

United Bid Host Cities and Stadiums

Metropolitan Market Stadium Capacity
Metropolitan Market Stadium Capacity
United States (34 cities, 37 stadiums)
Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium 75,000
Baltimore, MD M&T Bank Stadium 71,008
Birmingham, AL Legion Field 71,594
Boston, MA (Foxborough, MA) Gillette Stadium 65,892
Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium 75,400
Chicago, IL Soldier Field 61,500
Cincinnati, OH Paul Brown Stadium 65,515
Cleveland, OH FirstEnergy Stadium 68,710
Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl 92,100
Dallas, TX (Arlington, TX) AT&T Stadium 105,000
Denver, CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High 76,125
Detroit, MI Ford Field 65,000
Green Bay, WI Lambeau Field 81,441
Houston, TX NRG Stadium 71,500
Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium 65,700
Jacksonville, FL EverBank Field 64,000
Kansas City, MO Arrowhead Stadium 76,416
Las Vegas, NV Raiders Stadium 72,000
Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 78,500
Los Angeles, CA (Inglewood, CA) LA Stadium at Hollywood Park TBD
Los Angeles, CA (Pasadena, CA) Rose Bowl 87,527
Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium 65,767
Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium 63,000
Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium 69,143
New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome 72,000
New York/New Jersey (East Rutherford, NJ) MetLife Stadium 82,500
Orlando, FL Camping World Stadium 65,000
Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field 69,328
Phoenix, AZ (Glendale, AZ) University of Phoenix Stadium 73,000
Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field 68,400
Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium 45,807
San Antonio, TX Alamodome 72,000
San Diego, CA Qualcomm Stadium 71,500
San Francisco/San Jose, CA (Santa Clara, CA) Levi's Stadium 75,000
Seattle, WA CenturyLink Field 69,000
Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium 73,309
Washington, DC (Landover, MD) FedEx Field 82,000
Canada (7 cities, 9 stadiums)
Calgary, Alberta McMahon Stadium 35,650
Edmonton, Alberta Commonwealth Stadium 56,335
Montréal, Québec Stade Olympique 61,004
Montréal, Québec Stade Saputo 20,801
Ottawa, Ontario TD Place Stadium 24,341
Regina, Saskatchewan Mosaic Stadium 30,048
Toronto, Ontario Rogers Centre 53,506
Toronto, Ontario BMO Field 28,026
Vancouver, British Columbia BC Place 55,165
Mexico (3 cities, 3 stadiums)
Guadalajara, Jalisco Estadio Chivas 45,364
Mexico City Estadio Azteca 87,000
Monterrey, Nuevo León Estadio Rayados 52,237