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Which U.S. Cities Will Host The 2026 World Cup? FIFA To Announce 10 Winners Thursday.

Forbes logo Forbes 6/15/2022 Brian Bushard, Forbes Staff

Topline

The 10 U.S. stadiums that will host soccer matches for FIFA’s 2026 World Cup will be announced Thursday, ending a four-year bidding war among 17 finalists across the country.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 08: The interior of SoFi Stadium is seen following a ribbon-cutting event on September 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Hollywood Park Management Company) Getty Images for Hollywood Park Management Company © Provided by Forbes INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 08: The interior of SoFi Stadium is seen following a ribbon-cutting event on September 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Hollywood Park Management Company) Getty Images for Hollywood Park Management Company

Key Facts

U.S. cities in the running include New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Miami, Baltimore, Kansas City, Boston, Nashville, Denver, Orlando, Cincinnati and Los Angeles, the last of which has submitted entries for two venues: the Rose Bowl Stadium and SoFi Stadium.

The World Cup can be an economic boon for cities that are chosen, as tourists flock to the host cities, staying in hotels and visiting local businesses: according to U.S. Soccer, host cities can expect windfalls as high as $480 million from the World Cup.

Chris Canetti, the president of the 2026 Houston World Cup Bid Committee estimates the revenue from ticket sales and tourism over a potential six matches in Houston could be as high as $1.3 billion, up from the $347 million garnered at the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston.

Robert Kraft, who owns Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough Massachusetts, one of the 17 stadiums in the running, said, “half of the world’s population watches some part of the World Cup.”

FIFA, the international governing body in charge of running the World Cup every four years, has already selected three Mexican cities (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey), as well as three Canadian cities (Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver).

The U.S. stadiums are set to host a combined 60 matches, in a World Cup field of 48 teams, up from 32 in past tournaments.

What To Watch For

FIFA’s decision will be announced at 5 p.m. EST Thursday on Fox Sports 1.

Key Background

The number of U.S. stadiums in the running has been narrowed from 49 to 17 over the past four years. Chicago, Minneapolis and Phoenix were some of the first to drop out in March 2018, over what city officials called burdensome financial demands by FIFA, primarily over proposed tax waivers. FedEx Field, in Landover Maryland withdrew from the running in April over financial reasons. Montreal dropped out last August, after Quebec officials withdrew their support.

Key Quote

"This is the biggest and most important sporting event globally," Canetti told ABC. "That would be the equivalent of hosting five or six super bowls in Houston in three weeks."

Further Reading

5 Under-The-Radar Factors That Could Decide 2026 FIFA World Cup U.S. Host Cities (Forbes)

Which U.S. cities will host 2026 World Cup games? We’re about to find out (Yahoo Sports)

Gillette Stadium among sites that find out Thursday whether they will host 2026 men’s World Cup games (Boston Globe)

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