FIFA eyes big crowds, bigger profits at 2026 World Cup

Canada hosted the 24-team FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015, as well as the Under-20 World Cup in 2007.

Mexico’s previous World Cups are widely regarded as two of the best ever, instantly evoking the magic of Pele and the 1970 Brazil team and the genius of Diego Maradona in the 1986 tournament won by Argentina.

Despite the scepticism that initially surrounded the 1994 World Cup in the US, the tournament was a runaway commercial and critical success.

The total attendance of 3.6 million spectators remains a record for a World Cup, despite the later expansion in size of the tournament from 24 teams to 32 in 1998.

– How will it work? –

While the bid emphasised unity between the three host nations, it is undoubtedly US-led.

The United States is slated to stage 60 matches, including every game from the quarter-finals onwards.

Canada and Mexico will stage 10 matches each. Final logistical details such as host city selection and fixture scheduling will ultimately be settled by FIFA.

Bid officials have said they plan to stage games in all three host nations on the opening day, with the main opening match likely to be held in either Mexico City or Los Angeles. 

The North American bid book published earlier this year proposed the 84,953-capacity MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside New York City for the final.

Dallas’s AT&T Stadium and Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium were floated as possible semi-final venues.

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