MetLife Stadium hosted the 2016 Copa America Centenario final.
NEW YORK – Not suprisingly, New York City made the cut among the 32 cities across North America that could serve as an official host city for the 2026 World Cup.
The United Bid Committee Wednesday announced the 32 cities.
The NYC venue would be MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. MetLife, which hosted Copa America Centenario final in 2016, probably would be in the running to host either the tournament opener, a semifinal or even the championship match.
Giants Stadium was the host to seven matches during the 1994 World Cup, including a semifinal.
The candidates include four cities in Canada, three in Mexico and 25 cities in the United States. The committee also said that it will continue engaging with non-host cities in the further development of the united hosting concept.
“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,” United Bid chairman Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “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.”
In the next stage of the bid process, the United Bid Committee will integrate the 32 potential host cities into the united bid strategy and vision, as well as work with local officials to finalize the hosting documents required by FIFA. Representatives from the 32 potential host cities will travel to Houston, Texas during the week of Nov. 13 for a working session with the UBC.
The committee had received applications from 41 cities.
“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,” UBC executive director John Kristick said in a press release. “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.”
The host city selection process takes into account various factors such as city profile, stadium and support facilities (training sites, hotels) and services (e.g., transportation). The committee also looked at ways each city could contribute to a united hosting strategy for the 2026 World Cup, including their contribution to the sport’s development and the bid’s vision – not only during the tournament, but in the eight-year build up and the social, economic and environmental legacy.
Each of the 32 potential host cities features existing or already planned stadiums and other infrastructure, meeting or exceeding the requirements outlined by FIFA. The potential host cities also reflect the vast geographic and cultural diversity of North America and share a commitment to using the once-in-a-generation opportunity of hosting the World Cup.
The committee also will continue engaging with the nine cities that are not advancing to the next stage of the candidate host city process. Those cities, along with others, are being considered as possible locations for team base camps or other competition-related events leading up to the World Cup.
The 32 finalists:
Canada (4) Mexico (3)
Edmonton, Alberta Guadaljara, Jalisco
Montréal, Québec Mexico City, Mexico
Toronto, Ontario Monterrey, Nuevo León
Vancouver, British Columbia
United States (25)
Atlanta, Georgia Miami, Florida
Baltimore, Maryland Minneapolis, Minnesota
Boston, Massachusetts Nashville, Tennessee
Charlotte, North Carolina New York/New Jersey
Cincinnati, Ohio Orlando, Florida
Chicago, Illinois Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas Phoenix, Arizona
Denver, Colorado Salt Lake City, Utah
Detroit, Michigan San Francisco Bay Area
Houston, Texas Seattle, Washington
Kansas City, Missouri Tampa, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada Washington, DC
Los Angeles, California
The following cities were not selected as Host City candidates to be included as part of the United Bid:
Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Ottawa, Ontario; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Regina, Saskatchewan; and San Antonio, Texas.