Earlier this month, the FIFA Congress selected the United States, Canada, and Mexico to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This is the first time that a three country bid was selected to host the world’s most watched sporting event. Of the three countries, the United States hosted the tournament most recently in 1994. Mexico hosted in 1970 and 1986, and Canada has never hosted.
Of the 80 games, 60 will be played in the United States, including the highest revenue generating games – the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Canada and Mexico will split the remaining 20 games, each hosting ten a piece. Most of the games will be played at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the New York Giants and New York Jets. Seventeen other U.S. cities were under consideration to host games, including Los Angeles and Denver.
The last round of voting came down to Morocco and the joint bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Ultimately, the joint bid won by a margin of 134 votes to Morocco’s 65, even receiving a vote from Russia. North America promised a record breaking $11 billion in profits, nearly double the $6 billion profit that FIFA made from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Morocco promised less than half of the $11 billion and required renovations to all of its 14 potential venues, whereas North America will use 16 different venues which require no additional construction or renovations.
FIFA plans to distribute $11 billion among its 211 member associations in an effort to grow the game around the world. Ultimately, the FIFA World Cup is projected to produce $14 billion in revenue to the three countries, not including the economic boost to the host cities.
This year, neither the United States nor Canada are among the top 32 teams competing for the cup in Russia. Historically, the host country receives an automatic bid in the tournament, but the FIFA Congress is yet to decide if this will be the case in 2026.
Nevertheless, U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro recognizes the intrinsic value of unity between the United States, Canada, and Mexico beyond the FIFA World Cup. “The unity of the three nations coming together was a very powerful message and that was something we repeated over and over again.”