CHICAGO – The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada officially started its outreach for cities to declare their interest to serve as official host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup by sending Requests for Information to 44 cities across the three countries.

The RFI asks each city to declare its interest to take part in the bid process by Sept. 5.

A total of 49 stadiums located in or around those 44 candidate cities will be considered for inclusion in the official bid that will be sent to FIFA by March 16, 2018.

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. also was included among the 49 stadiums. Giants Stadium hosted seven games, including the semifinals, at the 1994 World Cup.

After cities declare their interest, the United Bid Committee will review the submissions and intends to issue a shortlist of cities by late September. The committee then will provide more detailed bid documentation to the cities and conduct meetings to discuss any questions as candidate cities prepare their final bid, due early January.

The committee plans to include 20-25 venues in its final bid to FIFA.

If selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, subject to FIFA’s determination, it is anticipated that at least 12 locations could ultimately serve as host cities. If a city is not selected to host matches, there may be other opportunities to be involved in the 2026 World Cup. Those cities, as well as other cities not on the initial list, could be selected as the location for the International Broadcast Center, host team base camps or host major events such as the preliminary or final draw.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure. The United States, Mexico and Canada are suited to accommodate FIFA’s high-level standards for hosting a World Cup.

“The Host Cities included in our bid will be critical to its success – not only because of their facilities and ability to stage major events, but because they are committed to further developing the sport of soccer by harnessing the impact of hosting a FIFA World Cup – and looking beyond the game itself to make a positive contribution to our communities and the world,” United Bid Committee Executive Director John Kristick said in a statement. “We have had a great response so far and we’re looking forward to working closely with each city and determining the best venues for our official bid that we’ll submit next year.”

The 49 stadiums represent a wide spectrum of facilities, including stadiums for soccer and football as well as domed and retractable roof stadiums. All stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group stage matches, and a capacity of at least 80,000 to be considered for the Opening Match and the Final.

Municipal leaders in each city have been asked to provide information about each city’s transportation infrastructure, past experience hosting major sporting and cultural events, available accommodations, environmental protection initiatives, potential venues and more.

Each city also must propose top international-level training sites and locations for team base camps and hotels for teams, staff and VIP’s. The bid committee will also evaluate cities on their commitment to sustainable event management, aspirations to develop soccer, and the positive social impact they anticipate in the local community and beyond stemming from the event.

FIFA established a deadline of Aug. 11 for Member Associations to express their interest to bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Morocco declared its intention to bid on this date. Both bidders must submit their proposals for consideration by FIFA, with a decision to be taken at the FIFA Congress next June.



Proposed stadiums and metropolitan markets for further consideration

Metropolitan Market



United States (34 cities, 37 stadiums)

Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium


Baltimore, MD M&T Bank Stadium


Birmingham, AL Legion Field


Boston, MA (Foxborough, MA) Gillette Stadium


Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium


Chicago, IL Soldier Field


Cincinnati, OH Paul Brown Stadium


Cleveland, OH FirstEnergy Stadium


Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl


Dallas, TX (Arlington, TX) AT&T Stadium


Denver, CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High


Detroit, MI Ford Field


Green Bay, WI Lambeau Field


Houston, TX NRG Stadium


Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium


Jacksonville, FL EverBank Field


Kansas City, MO Arrowhead Stadium


Las Vegas, NV Raiders Stadium


Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum


Los Angeles, CA (Inglewood, CA) LA Stadium at Hollywood Park


Los Angeles, CA (Pasadena, CA) Rose Bowl


Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium


Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium


Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium


New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome


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


Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field


Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium


San Antonio, TX Alamodome


San Diego, CA Qualcomm 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 (7 cities, 9 stadiums)

Calgary, Alberta McMahon Stadium


Edmonton, Alberta Commonwealth Stadium


Montréal, Québec Stade Olympique


Montréal, Québec Stade Saputo


Ottawa, Ontario TD Place Stadium


Regina, Saskatchewan Mosaic Stadium


Toronto, Ontario Rogers Centre


Toronto, Ontario 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



Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at