(NEXSTAR) – On Thursday, FIFA revealed the 16 North American cities that will host 2026 World Cup matches.
The announcement – made via a televised show from Fox’s studio in Manhattan – follows years of meetings, visits and suspense as soccer fans across the country waited to find out whether or not one of the matches would be played near them.
Every four years, millions of soccer fans travel and tune in to cheer on their favorite national teams as they battle to lift the coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
In 2026, it will be the first time in the history of the tournament that three nations will host matches and the first time the field of qualified nations will expand to 48.
There were 23 venues in the United States, Mexico and Canada that were bidding to play host to the highly-anticipated tournament, with the majority in the U.S. Canada and Mexico each had three.
See the full list of selected cities below:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Kansas City
- New York/New Jersey
- Mexico City
The U.S. cities that were left off the list include Baltimore/Washington D.C., Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville and Orlando.
Reports last week already indicated that Edmonton, Canada, was out as an option, and that was confirmed Thursday.
What about the stadiums?
The U.S. selections included none of the nine stadiums used at the 1994 World Cup. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Orlando’s Camping World Stadium were the only ones remaining in contention, and they were among the sites dropped in the final round.
New stadiums were selected in five areas used in 1994. AT&T Stadium in Texas replaced Dallas’ Cotton Bowl; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood took over for Pasadena’s Rose Bowl; and Levi’s Stadium instead of Stanford Stadium.
Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, replaced torn-down stadiums that were adjacent, Giants Stadium and Foxboro Stadium.
Orlando’s Camping World was dropped among existing 1994 venues. The Detroit area, where the old Pontiac Silverdome hosted games, was cut in 2018 and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium was dropped after FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, dropped out. Washington’s RFK Stadium was used in 1994.
Chicago, which hosted the 1994 opener at Soldier Field, refused to bid, citing FIFA’s economic demands.
FIFA selected the US-Mexico-Canada joint bid in 2018, with North America beating out Morocco.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done between now and summer 2026.
Host cities will begin planning and development to host fans from across the world. Leaders will have 4 years to update stadiums, infrastructure and fan experiences ahead of 2026.
As for the national teams, they’ll begin qualifying once the 2022 edition of the tournament in Qatar concludes in December.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.