One of the biggest sporting events across the globe is the World Cup. For years the tournament has been hosted overseas – but in 2026 the World Cup tournament will be played here in America. Not only in the United States, but a handful of games will also be played in Canada and Mexico as the three countries came together in a joint bid.
“This is an incredible, and incredibly important, moment for soccer in North America and beyond,” stated Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer.
The joint bid between the three countries received 134 votes out of 200 to defeat Morocco (65 votes) and Iran (one vote) in voting.
The last time the World Cup was hosted in the U.S was back in 1994. However, in 2010 the U.S did make a bid — but failed, so the U.S. Soccer president at the time, Sunil Gulati still focused on the possibilities of one day hosting the tournament here in the states and kept working for future years to host.
“On Dec. 2, 2010, I couldn’t decide if I never wanted to go anywhere near this again or if we should start working on the next one right away. But I’m glad we did. And this a really fantastic day for soccer.”
In fact, Cordeiro, Canada federation president Steve Reed and Mexico federation president Decio de Maria traveled around the world speaking to various federation leaders in an attempt to side with their united bid – their efforts paid off.
“I’m convinced that it was critical to get in front of people, face-to-face. They are elected federation officials just like we are, and you can relate to them because of that — whether it’s a big country or a small one,” said Cordeiro.
Dan Garber, the commissioner of the MLS, also shared his thoughts on the U.S hosting the World Cup:
“What an exciting day for the sport of soccer in Canada, Mexico and the United States — and really, for the rest of the world. This decision that just came down from Moscow to allow our region to host the World Cup in 2026 is a testament to how our three nations came together for an unprecedented united bid, and it’s a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer here and to do what we can to grow the game around the world.”
Thanks to a well-established economy and corporate structure in the United States, the World Cup is predicted to produce $14 billion in revenue and maybe as much as $50 million more for distributions for each member nation than if the alternative bid had prevailed.
Not only will the 2026 World Cup tournament be the first time a three-nation bid has been awarded with hosting responsibilities, but the field will be expanded to 48 teams playing instead of only 32 teams like the structure is now.
Of the 80 games to be played, 60 will be played in the United States, while Canada and Mexico will each host 10 games. All matches played in the quarterfinals and onward, will be played in the U.S with the final game to take place outside of New York in the MetLife Stadium.