FIFA did not initially select Las Vegas as a host city for the 2026 World Cup. This was even though Sin City recently erected an incredible state-of-the-art stadium in 2020. Allegiant Stadium, home to the Las Vegas Raiders, was overlooked by FIFA officials partially due to its pitch size.

Nevertheless, the arena may soon be a backup option for the world’s governing body of the sport. SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles area will not host 2026 World Cup matches. Initially, the arena was a main focus of the tournament. The stadium was even in the running to host the World Cup Final.

Money is deciding factor in SoFi Stadium issue

FIFA’s decision to reportedly move on from SoFi Stadium comes down to money. The arena has similar field issues as Allegiant Stadium. However, FIFA still chose Los Angeles as a host city and fully backed playing World Cup games at the stadium. Instead, SoFi Stadium owner Stan Kroenke was not happy about the financial splits between him, the city and FIFA. This monetary feud ultimately ruined a deal between the parties involved.

This is where Las Vegas comes into play. Rumors of switching the California city for Las Vegas quickly surfaced following the disappointing news about SoFi Stadium. Although the Allegiant Stadium pitch does have similar problems as SoFi Stadium, it is not a dealbreaker. This comes down to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority’s willingness to make adjustments.

Las Vegas officials ready to work with FIFA for World Cup

Steve Hill, the Las Vegas stadium board chairman, previously claimed that the city considered widening the arena’s turf to appease FIFA. Hill also stated that it would take almost nine months to grow the extra grass in time for games. This leaves plenty of time to make the necessary alterations to the stadium before the World Cup begins.

Allegiant Stadium has also hosted significantly more soccer matches than SoFi Stadium as well. Despite just opening in 2020, the arena has been the host of a dozen top matchups in the sport. This includes several international friendlies, as well as the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final and the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League Final.

Along with the city willing to play ball with FIFA and the stadium being the second-most expensive arena in the world, Las Vegas may be an ideal destination for World Cup travelers. Tourism is a key component of the city. In fact, 38 million people reportedly traveled to Las Vegas in 2022 alone. The self-described “Entertainment Capital of the World” could pick up a boost come the summer of 2026.