World Cup 2026 bid won by Canada, Mexico and USA - an overview of potential host stadiums
Canada, Mexico and USA have won the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup which has been awarded under FIFA’s new bidding process. The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature 48 nations across the globe and to be hosted by three different countries.
The 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force has used a weighted criteria system to review the submitted bids. This system was broken down into infrastructure and commercial elements. Infrastructure accounted for 70% of the overall weight while the remaining 30% was related to commercial elements outlined in the bid.
In addition, each bid had to meet a threshold of requirements in order to be approved by the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force before being eligible for vote by the 68th FIFA Congress. Of the 211 members, 200 were eligible to vote of which 67% voted for the UNITED bid.
Canada, Mexico and USA
The complexity of hosting the tournament across three countries was given great thought during the bid process. The three nations were able to come to a final agreement on which games would be played where and at what stage of the tournament. Of the 80 matches in total, USA will host 60 matches while Mexico and Canada will both host 10 matches. A particular unique part of the United 2026 Bid is the potential of having three ‘opening’ matches with one being played in each nation:
- Canada – Edmonton, Montreal, or Toronto
- Mexico – Mexico City - Estadio Azteca
- United States – Los Angeles or New York/New Jersey
Overview of potential World Cup stadiums
There are 23 potential stadiums which could host World Cup matches: 3 stadiums in Canada, 3 stadiums in Mexico and 17 stadiums (of which 10 will be chosen as official host venues) in USA. The average capacity for these 23 stadiums is 69,261 (52,580 in Canada; 63,018 in Mexico and 74,149 in USA).
Canada (stadium - city - capacity):
- Commonwealth Stadium - Edmonton - 56,418
- Olympic Stadium - Montreal - 55,822
- BMO Field - Toronto - 45,500
Mexico (stadium - city - capacity):
- Azteca Stadium - Mexico City - 87,523
- BBVA Bancomer Stadium - Monterrey - 53,460
- Akron Stadium - Guadalajara - 48,071
USA (stadium - city - capacity):
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta - 75,000
- M&T Bank Stadium - Baltimore - 70,976
- Gillette Stadium - Boston - 70,000
- Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati - 67,402
- AT&T Stadium - Dallas - 92,967
- Mile High Stadium - Denver - 77,595
- NRG Stadium - Houston - 72,220
- Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City - 76,640
- Rose Bowl - Los Angeles - 88,432
- Hard Rock Stadium - Miami - 67,518
- Nissan Stadium - Nashville - 69,722
- MetLife Stadium - New York/New Jersey - 87,157
- Camping World Stadium - Orlando - 65,000
- Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia - 69,328
- Levi’s Stadium - San Francisco Bay Area - 70,909
- CenturyLink Field - Seattle - 69,000
- FedEx Field - Washington, DC - 70,659
In the second 2018 issue of ESSMA’s stadium development report, more information will be available on the bid process, the United bid and the Moroccan bid. The report will soon be published on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform.