DALLAS (105.3 The Fan/AP) – The committee that is hoping to bring the 2026 World Cup to the United States, Mexico and Canada has narrowed the list of possible host cities down to 32.
“As we move to the next stage of the bid process, we’re even more confident we have everything needed to deliver the largest, most compelling FIFA World Cup in history and help accelerate the growth of soccer across North America and around the world,” said United Bid Chairman Sunil Gulati. “We have more than double the number of cities required to stage matches in 2026. We have a vision for growing the game and engaging fans as never before. Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to honor the enthusiasm of all the people across Canada, Mexico and the United States through the development of our united hosting concept.”
The United Bid Committee was considering 41 cities in those regions for inclusion in the official bid that will be sent to soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, in March.
The committee announced Wednesday that they reviewed interest and decided to have 32 cities move on in the process. The bid ultimately sent to FIFA is expected to include up to 25 venues, but it is expected that 12 cities will be designated as official hosts.
The next step in the bidding process will see representatives from all 32 cities join together in Houston during the week of November 13 for a working session with the Bid Committee.
This session will allow the committee to work with each city to give them their bid strategy and vision and finalize the hosting documents required by FIFA.
We received applications from 41 cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States and narrowed the list after a comprehensive review of each of the communities and facilities. The 32 cities that we have identified as potential host cities, on their own and together, are prepared to welcome soccer fans from around the world. They are more than capable of helping fulfill the shared vision and ambition of FIFA and the United Bid in shaping the future of soccer in North America,” said John Kristick, Executive Director of the United Bid Committee. “While not every city will move forward as a potential host city, we were so impressed by all the applicants that we will continue to engage with all the cities as part of our hosting strategy and we will welcome the opportunity to work with FIFA to further expand our hosting concept to ensure the broadest possible impact for this spectacular event.”
Among the 32 cities that officials the Bid Committee remains interested in are Dallas and Houston. San Antonio was on the initial list of cities that had an interest in hosting a match, but they were eliminated.
Dallas has two stadiums (Cotton Bowl and AT&T Stadium) that could host a world cup match, according to the committee.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-team field. Morocco has also declared its intention to bid for the event.
The cities and stadiums are:
United States (25 cities)
Atlanta, GA: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Baltimore, MD: M&T Bank Stadium
Boston, MA (Foxborough, MA): Gillette Stadium
Charlotte, NC: Bank of America Stadium
Chicago, IL: Soldier Field
Cincinnati, OH: Paul Brown Stadium
Dallas, TX (Arlington, TX): Cotton Bowl/AT&T Stadium
Denver, CO: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Detroit, MI: Ford Field
Houston, TX: NRG Stadium
Kansas City, MO: Arrowhead Stadium
Las Vegas, NV: Raiders Stadium
Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum/ Rose Bowl/LA Stadium at Hollywood Park
Miami, FL: Hard Rock Stadium
Minneapolis, MN: U.S. Bank Stadium
Nashville, TN: Nissan Stadium
New York/New Jersey (East Rutherford, NJ): MetLife Stadium
Orlando, FL: Camping World Stadium
Philadelphia, PA: Lincoln Financial Field
Phoenix, AZ (Glendale, AZ): University of Phoenix Stadium
Salt Lake City, UT: Rice-Eccles Stadium
San Francisco/San Jose, CA (Santa Clara, CA): Levi’s Stadium
Seattle, WA: CenturyLink Field
Tampa, FL: Raymond James Stadium
Washington, DC (Landover, MD): FedEx Field
Canada (4 cities)
Edmonton, Alberta: Commonwealth Stadium
Montréal, Québec: Stade Olympique/Stade Saputo
Toronto, Ontario: Rogers Centre/BMO Field
Vancouver, British Columbia: BC Place
Mexico (3 cities, 3 stadiums):
Guadalajara, Jalisco: Estadio Chivas
Mexico City: Estadio Azteca
Monterrey, Nuevo León: Estadio Rayados
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)