United 2026 FIFA World Cup bid

United 2026, also known as the North American 2026 bid, was a successful joint bid led by the United States Soccer Federation, together with the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

2026 FIFA World Cup bid
United 2026
Canada–United States–Mexico 2026
Tournament details
Host countriesCanada
United States
Mexico
Venue(s)16 (selected from a proposal of 23) (in 16 host cities)
2022
2030

While the soccer federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States had individually announced plans to field a bid for the 2026 World Cup, the concept of a joint bid among the three North American countries was first proposed in 2016. The joint bid was officially unveiled on April 10, 2017, under which the tournament would be held at venues in all three countries. A shortlist of 23 candidate cities were named in the official bid, with 17 in the U.S., 3 in Canada, and 3 in Mexico. Ten U.S. candidate cities will join three Canadian candidate cities, and three Mexican candidate cities, to form the roster of 16 cities that will host the matches of this World Cup. Although a joint bid, the majority of the matches will be held in the United States. Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each, while the United States will host the other 60, including all matches from the quarterfinals onward.[1]

On June 13, 2018, at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, Russia, the United bid was selected by 134 votes to Morocco's 65.[2] Upon this selection, Canada will become the fifth country to host both the men's and women's World Cup, joining Sweden, the United States, Germany, and France. Mexico will become the first country to host three men's World Cups, and the United States will become the first country to host both the men's and women's World Cup twice each. This will be the first World Cup to be hosted in three countries, as well as the first since 2002 and the second overall to be held in multiple countries.

Background

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The three soccer federations of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. announced interest in submitting a bid for the 2026 World Cup years before the federations intended to unify their efforts.

In July 2012, Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani confirmed plans for a Canadian bid, saying: "We have verbally told FIFA that when the bid process begins for the next available World Cup, which would be the 2026 World Cup, that the CSA will be one of the countries putting in a formal proposal".[3] At the time the bid was announced, Canada had hosted the men's 1987 Under-16 World Championship and the U-20 World Cups for both men and women; the country has since hosted the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. In October 2013, Montagliani confirmed Canada's intention to bid for the 2026 tournament[4] and the Canadian Soccer Association reiterated this in January 2014.[5]

In September 2012, Mexican Football Federation (FMF) President Justino Compeán confirmed plans for a Mexican bid.[6] In October 2013, Liga MX President said that Mexico was interested in joining forces with the U.S. to co-host a bid for the 2026 World Cup.[7] On December 9, 2014, FMF confirmed that it was bidding for the 2026 World Cup.[8]

On May 13, 2016, at the FIFA Congress in Mexico City, USSF board member John Motta told ESPN "whatever happens, we will bid for the 2026 World Cup -- either jointly (with Mexico or Canada) or we will go it alone."[9] The United States hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup and unsuccessfully bid for the 2022 World Cup, which was won by Qatar in 2010. On April 18, 2015, Brazilian legend Pelé stated that the United States should host the 2026 World Cup.[10]

In December 2016 Victor Montagliani, CONCACAF president announced for the first time a possibility of a joint bid between the United States, Canada, and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup.[11]

On April 10, 2017, the three bodies officially announced their intent to submit a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup.[12]

Bid process

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Bidding for the 2026 FIFA World Cup was postponed due to the 2015 FIFA corruption case and the subsequent resignation of Sepp Blatter,[13] then was restarted following the FIFA Council meeting on May 10, 2016, wherein the bidding process would consist of four phases:[14]

  • May 2016 – May 2017: a new strategy and consultation phase
  • June 2017 – Dec 2017: enhanced phases for bid preparation
  • March 2018 – June 2018: bid evaluation
  • June 2018: final decision[15]

With no rival bid having emerged since April 2017 the CONCACAF member federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States sent a joint request to FIFA to hasten the bid process. Canada, Mexico, and the United States wanted FIFA to award the bid outside the traditional bidding process at the June 2018 FIFA Congress in Moscow if the CONCACAF-bid meets FIFA requirements.[16][17]

However the FIFA Council decided on May 8, 2017, that FIFA would have a full bidding procedure. In order to ensure continental rotation of hosting duties, only the member associations of CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, and the OFC were invited, as these continental confederations had not hosted the two previous World Cups.[18] A date of August 11, 2017, was set for submission of an intention to bid.[19]

FIFA football tournament hosting experiences

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Together, Canada, Mexico, and the United States have hosted 13 FIFA events, which is the most of any trio of geographically connected nations.[20]

In addition, all three countries have hosted at least one Olympic football tournament. Canada played host in Montreal 1976, Mexico in Mexico City 1968, and the United States hosted twice – in Los Angeles 1984 and Atlanta 1996. The Atlanta Games were the first to include a women's tournament.

Bid committee

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On July 6, 2017, a United Bid Committee was officially formed by the national federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, to kick off the bidding process to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America.[21][22][23][24][25]

Honorary chairman of the board

United bid committee board of directors

United bid committee executive team

Potential venues

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On August 15, 2017, the United Bid Committee released a list of 49 stadiums in 44 metropolitan markets across the three nations which will be considered for the official bid.[29] The United Bid Committee planned to include 20–25 venues in the official bid, which was sent to FIFA in March 2018.[29] Stadiums must have a capacity of at least 40,000 for group-round matches and at least 80,000 for the opening match and the final.[29]

On September 7, 2017, the United Bid Committee announced that a total of 41 cities (with 44 venues) had submitted bids marking their official declaration of interest to be included in the final bid:[30] Almost a month later, on October 4, 2017, the list of cities was cut down to 32 with 35 venues.[31] During U.S. Soccer's annual general meeting in Orlando in February 2018, Gulati revealed that the list of cities had been cut down to 26 with 29 venues.[32][better source needed]

On March 14, 2018, Vancouver, Minneapolis and Chicago all announced that they were dropping out as potential host cities. All three cities cited concerns over the financial transparency of being a host city and cited FIFA's unwillingness to negotiate financial details as reasons for their decisions; the bid committee announced the next day they had reduced the number of cities in the bid to 23.[33][34][35][36]

Cities had to submit written proposals to the United Bid Committee by January 19, 2018, before being selected by the committee.[37]

The official bid has proposed the main opening match be held in either the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City or at the Rose Bowl in the Los Angeles area, that all three host countries' teams would host their first matches on the first day of the tournament and that the final match be held at MetLife Stadium in the New York City area. The bid also proposed that the two semi-final matches would be held at AT&T Stadium in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. All of the other cities in the American portion of the bid are under consideration for quarter-final matches. The bid book proposal calls for Mexico and Canada to each host seven group-stage games, two matches in the round of 32, and one in the round of 16.[38]

A † denotes stadium used for previous men's World Cup tournaments
A ‡ denotes an indoor stadium

Canada

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Vancouver, British Columbia[39] Toronto, Ontario[36]
BC Place BMO Field
Capacity: 54,000 Capacity: 30,000
(Expanding to 45,500 for tournament)
   
Canadian proposed venues

Mexico

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Mexico City[36] UANL, México Monterrey, Nuevo León[36] UNAM ,México Guadalajara, Jalisco[36]
Estadio Azteca Estadio Universitario Estadio BBVA Estadio Olìmpico Universitario Estadio Akron
Capacity: 87,523 Capacity: 23,445 Capacity: 53,500
(Bid book capacity: 53,460)
Capacity: 64,356

(Bid Book capacity: 43,569)

Capacity: 46,232
(Bid book capacity: 48,071)
     
Mexico City Atlas, Mexico San Luis,City
Estadio Ciudad de Los Deporttes Estadio Jalisco Estadio Alfonso Lastras
Capacity: 12,347 Capacity: 23,145 Capacity: 22,134
Cruz, Mexico Juárez, México Mazatlàn, Mexico
Estadio Azteca Estadio Olìmpico Benito Jurárez Estadio De Mazatlàn
Capacity: 08,335 Capactiy:32,145 Capacity: 24,135
Necaxa, México Pachuca, México Puebla, Mexico
Estadio Victoria Estadio Hidalgo Estadio Cuathèmoc
Capacity: 23,145 Capacity: 23,121 Capacity: 3,345
Santos.Mexico Tijuana, Mexico Toluca , Mexico City
Estadio Corona Estadio Celiente Estadio Nemesio Dìez
Capacity: 24,137 Capacity:24,553 Capacuty: 25,154

United States

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New York/New Jersey[36] Dallas, Texas[36] Kansas City, Missouri[36] Houston, Texas[36]
MetLife Stadium
(East Rutherford, New Jersey)
AT&T Stadium
(Arlington, Texas)
Arrowhead Stadium NRG Stadium
Capacity: 82,500
(Bid book capacity: 87,157)
Capacity: 80,000
(Bid book capacity: 92,967)
(expandable to 105,000)
Capacity: 76,416
(Bid book capacity: 76,640)
Capacity: 72,220
       
Atlanta, Georgia[36] Los Angeles, California*[36][40]
Mercedes-Benz Stadium SoFi Stadium
(Inglewood, California)
Capacity: 71,000
(Bid book capacity: 75,000)
(expandable to 83,000)
Capacity: 70,240
(expandable to 100,240)
   
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[36] St. Louis, Missouri
Lincoln Financial Field City Park Stadium
Capacity: 69,796
(Bid book capacity: 69,328)
Capacity: 43,643

(Bid book capacity: 32,479)

  City Park Stadium
Seattle, Washington[36] San Francisco Bay Area[36] Boston, Massachusetts[36] Miami, Florida[36]
Lumen Field Levi's Stadium
(Santa Clara, California)
Gillette Stadium
(Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Hard Rock Stadium
(Miami Gardens, Florida)
Capacity: 69,000
(expandable to 72,000)
Capacity: 68,500
(Bid book capacity: 70,909)
(expandable to 75,000)
Capacity: 65,878
(Bid book capacity: 70,000)
Capacity: 64,767
(Bid book capacity: 67,518)
       

* = Was not initially included in the bid book but is also being considered.[40]

Additional venue information

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Canada

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Mexico

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United States

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Venues excluded since start of bidding process

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Venues that withdrew voluntarily

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Chicago, Illinois[36] Minneapolis, Minnesota[36] Montreal, Quebec[42] Washington, D.C.[36]
Soldier Field U.S. Bank Stadium Olympic Stadium FedExField
(Landover, Maryland)
Capacity: 61,500 Capacity: 66,655
(expandable to 73,000)
Capacity: 61,004
(Bid book capacity: 55,822)
(Expandable to 73,000)
Capacity: 82,000
(Bid book capacity: 70,249)
(expandable to 91,704)
       

Venues excluded from final list in June 2022

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Baltimore, Maryland[36] Cincinnati, Ohio[36] Denver, Colorado[36] Fort Lauderdale, Florida
M&T Bank Stadium Paycor Stadium Empower Field at Mile High Chase Stadium
Capacity: 71,006
(Bid book capacity: 70,976)
Capacity: 65,515
(Bid book capacity: 67,402)
Capacity: 76,125
(Bid book capacity: 77,595)
Capacity 23,457

(Bid Book capacity: 74,598)

     
Edmonton, Alberta[36] Los Angeles, California[36] Nashville, Tennessee[36] Orlando, Florida[36]
Commonwealth Stadium Rose Bowl
(Pasadena, California)
Nissan Stadium Camping World Stadium
Capacity: 56,302
(Bid book capacity: 56,418)
Capacity: 92,000
(Bid book capacity: 88,432)
Capacity: 69,143
(Bid book capacity: 69,722)
(expandable to 75,000)
Capacity: 60,219
(Bid book capacity: 65,000)
       

Venues that submitted bids but were rejected (2nd round)

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The following cities were not selected as host cities bid, according to Sunil Gulati, during the 2018 US Soccer Annual General Meeting.[32]

Charlotte, North Carolina[36] Dallas, Texas[36] Detroit, Michigan[36] Las Vegas, Nevada[36]
Bank of America Stadium Cotton Bowl Ford Field Allegiant Stadium
(Paradise, Nevada)
Capacity: 75,525 Capacity: 92,100 Capacity: 65,000
(expandable to 70,000)
Capacity: 72,000
       
Los Angeles, California[36] Phoenix, Arizona[36] Salt Lake City, Utah[36] Tampa, Florida[36]
Memorial Coliseum State Farm Stadium
(Glendale, Arizona)
Rice–Eccles Stadium Raymond James Stadium
Capacity: 93,607 Capacity: 63,400
(expandable to 78,600)
Capacity: 53,609 Capacity: 65,890
(expandable to 75,000)
       
Chicago, Illinois Cincinnati, Ohio Washington D.C. Montreal , Quebec
Soldier Field TQL Stadium Audi Field Saputo Stadium
Capacity: 32,144 Capacity: 2,132 Capacity: 2,312 Capacity: 21,432
New York City, New York Harrison, New Jersey Orlando, Florida Chester, Philadelphia
Yankee Stadium Red Bull Arena Inter&Co Stadium Subaru Park
Capacity: 16,458 Capacity: 28,438 Capacity: 11,452 Capacuty: 32,441
Toronto, Ontario Austin, Texas Commerce City, Colorado Frisco, Texas
BMO STADIUM Q2 Stadium Dick,s Sporting Goods Park Toyota Stadium
Capacity: 20,332 Capacity: 7,451 Capacity: 11,325 Capacity: 18,348
Houston, Texas Carson, California Los Angeles, California Saint Paul, Minnesota
Shell Energey Stadium Dignity Health Sports Park BMO Stadium Allianz Field
Capacity: 7,132 Capacity: 19,431 Capacity: 21,303 Capacity: 23,411
Portland, Oregon Sandy, Utah San Jose, California Kansas City, Missouri
Providence Field America First Field PayPal Park Children's Mercy Park
Vancouver, British Columbia St. Louis, Missouri San Diego, California Carson, California
BC Place City Park Stadium Snapdragon Stadium Stubhub Center
Capacity: 5,347 Capacity: 3,447 Capacity: 24,124 Capacity: 132,453

Venues that submitted bids but were rejected (1st round)

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Birmingham, Alabama[36] Cleveland, Ohio[36] Indianapolis, Indiana[36]
Legion Field FirstEnergy Stadium Lucas Oil Stadium
Capacity: 71,594 Capacity: 67,895 Capacity: 62,421
(expandable to 70,000)
     
Jacksonville, Florida[36] New Orleans, Louisiana[36] Ottawa, Ontario[36]
TIAA Bank Field Caesars Superdome TD Place Stadium
Capacity: 69,132
(expandable to 82,000)
Capacity: 73,208
(expandable to 76,438)
Capacity: 24,000
     
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[36] Regina, Saskatchewan[36] San Antonio, Texas[36]
Acrisure Stadium Mosaic Stadium Alamodome
Capacity: 69,690 Capacity: 33,350
(expandable to 40,000)
Capacity: 64,000
     

Venues that were contacted but submitted no bids

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Calgary, Alberta[36] Green Bay, Wisconsin[36] Montreal, Quebec[36] San Diego, California[36] Toronto, Ontario[36]
McMahon Stadium Lambeau Field Saputo Stadium Qualcomm Stadium Rogers Centre
Capacity: 35,400
(expandable to 46,020)
Capacity: 81,441 Capacity: 20,801 Capacity: 70,561 Capacity: 54,000
         
Rejected and uninterested venues:
 : Venues cut after final decision in June 2022
 : Venues submitted but rejected (2nd round)
 : Venues submitted but rejected (1st round)
 : Venues that withdrew voluntarily
 : Venues that declined to participate

General facilities

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Support

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Football confederations

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FIFA members

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Public opinion

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On October 24, 2017, a survey of adults in Canada, Mexico, and the United States showed a broad support for Canada–United States–Mexico bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It found that 77% of North American residents are in favor of hosting the first-ever 48-team FIFA World Cup, and 81% of respondents across the three countries agree that hosting the tournament would be good for their specific country. Also, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) of those surveyed say they would be interested in attending FIFA World Cup matches if the games were played near where they live or work.[62]

U.S. House of Representatives

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On April 20, 2018, Representatives Darin LaHood and fellow co-chairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus Kathy Castor (FL-14), Don Bacon (NE-02), Ruben Kihuen (NV-04) introduced a resolution to recognize and support the efforts of the United Bid Committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.[63] The U.S. House of Representatives adopted this resolution on April 25, 2018.[64]

Other government officials

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Toronto city councilors Mark Grimes and Cesar Palacio supported the bid, as well as Mayor John Tory.[65] Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also supported it.[66]

On March 13, 2018, Canadian Minister of Sport Kirsty Duncan announced in Ottawa that the Canadian federal government officially threw its support behind the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, with the promise of up to $5 million in immediate help should the unified bid win.[67]

U.S. President Donald Trump,[68] Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,[69] and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto[70] all supported the bid for the World Cup.

Marketing

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The bid is branded "United 2026", the logo of the bid is a ball with the number 26 representing the year "2026" with the colors of the flags of Canada, Mexico, and the United States and the slogans are: "United As One" (Spanish: "Unidos Como Uno", French: "Unis Comme Un"). and "Football For All" (Spanish: "Fútbol Para Todos", French: "Football Pour Tous").[71]

Opinions

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On December 28, 2017, during a sports business conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, FIFA president Gianni Infantino considered the United bid to be a positive message.[72]

Controversies

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U.S. President Donald Trump's executive orders regarding immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries implemented in 2017 was touted as a potential risk, with Infantino saying, "Any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup."[73] In response, the Trump administration sent letters to FIFA that read, in part, that Trump was "confident" that "all eligible athletes, officials and fans from all countries around the world would be able to enter the United States without discrimination."[74] In 2018, Trump then warned the countries that intended to support the Morocco bid to host the 2026 World Cup, tweeting: "The US has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?"[75] In January 2021, the travel ban was reversed by his successor Joe Biden.[76]

References

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