Los Angeles (AFP) – The joint North American bid for the 2026 World Cup on Thursday unveiled 23 cities that have been chosen as potential venues for the tournament as officials prepared to submit their bid book to FIFA.
A statement from the United States-Canada-Mexico bid, which is seen as the front-runner for the expanded 48-team tournament, said FIFA will select up to 16 host cities from the 23 venues submitted.
The United bid will make use of existing stadia and facilities, a key selling point for a bid which will face only one rival, Morocco, when FIFA members vote on the race in June.
“Canada, Mexico, and the United States have joined together to deliver a United Bid that offers FIFA and its member associations the power of unity, the promise of certainty, and the potential of extraordinary opportunity,” United Bid executive director John Kristick said in a statement.
“We are confident that the combination of our 23 existing world-class stadiums, 150 existing elite training facilities, and our modern and interconnected transportation network can help FIFA to achieve new records for attendance and revenue.”
Cities not hosting games could be chosen as other venues needed for the tournament, such as team base camps. The United bid said the stadia in contention had an average capacity of more than 68,000.
Bid officials have said 60 of the tournament’s matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each.
The United States will host all knockout games from the quarter-finals onwards. The opening day of the tournament would see matches held in each of the three host nations, the bid team said.
Stadiums under consideration in the United States include three venues used in the 1994 World Cup, among them the Pasadena Rose Bowl, as well as the 105,000-capacity AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL Dallas Cowboys.
Candidate cities for 2026 North America World Cup bid:
Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto
Mexico: Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mexico City
United States: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC.