SoFi Stadium’s deal with FIFA to host the 2026 World Cup has apparently caused a major dispute between Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and the international governing body. Kroenke also owns SoFi Stadium and its main tenant, the NFL’s LA Rams.

The USA, Mexico, and Canada will each the sixteen venues for the 23rd edition of the World Cup in 2026. The specific locations were revealed last year. In the United States, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, LA and Seattle will host games.

Canada is will see games in Toronto and Vancouver, while Mexico’s host cities are Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey.

Kroenke questioning terms of agreement

Even though SoFi Stadium was originally selected as one of the 2026 venues, reports indicate that tensions are rising between FIFA and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. The Athletic reports that the Kroenke family has expressed displeasure with the deal’s provisions, including the money distribution between FIFA, the city, and the stadium.

The proprietors of the stadium were reportedly counting on receiving commercial assets as advance payment. But that hasn’t happened, and now Kroenke is threatening to pull out of Los Angeles’ role as a host city.

It is yet unknown how much money will be allocated to each stadium and city. At the end of last year, FIFA predicted that the cycle building up to the 2026 edition would produce $11 billion in income. An extra $3.1 billion is anticipated to come from ticket sales and hospitality.

What did World Cup Host Committee say?

When asked to comment on the conflict, the Los Angeles FIFA World Cup Host Committee made a short remark. “We are proud to be the Los Angeles Host Committee for the FIFA World Cup 2026. Since being announced as a host city, we have been working closely with FIFA on many aspects of the event.

“The information you have shared does not accurately reflect the content of those ongoing, collaborative conversations. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is an invaluable partner for Los Angeles.

“Besides having the premiere venue in the world, KSE continues to provide incredible support to our committee. With KSE as a partner, Los Angeles will deliver to the highest standard on the world stage.”

Photo: Imago.