NEW YORK – A new survey of adults in Canada, Mexico and the United States confirms broad support for a United Bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the bid committee announced Tuesday afternoon

The survey found that 77 percent of North American residents are in favor of hosting the first 48-team World Cup and 81 percent of respondents across the three countries agree that hosting the tournament would be good for their specific country.

With more than eight years until the event would even take place, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) of those surveyed say they would be interested in attending World Cup matches if the games were played near where they live or work.

The survey was conducted in early September by the international polling firm Ipsos and covered approximately 1,000 adults in each country for a total of 3,000.

“Soccer’s reach and popularity have grown dramatically across North America, and this survey shows the potential for our region and for our sport, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and make a huge contribution to the sport and its fans, here and around the world,” U.S. Soccer President and Chairman of the United Bid Committee Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “To see this level of support, more than eight years before kick-off, demonstrates how deeply rooted soccer is across North America and what the success of the United Bid could mean for the sport’s growth in North America.”

Additional results from the survey include:

* Half of those who are supportive of the bid believe that co-hosting the games with their neighboring countries would boost the image of their own nation around the world. In the United States and Canada, 53 percent of respondents agree serving as stewards of the FIFA World Cup will help grow the game of soccer in their respective countries.

* Some of the top reasons for supporting hosting the FIFA World Cup in each country include the anticipated economic benefits that hosting the tournament would bring to the region and the spread of a positive image of the country around the world.

* Eight percent of those interviewed were opposed to hosting the games, with those who do not follow the sport regularly especially likely to feel this way. When told, however, that a potential advantage of the United North American bid is that no new stadiums will need to be built to host World Cup matches, dramatically reducing the financial burden on taxpayers or governments in Canada, Mexico and the United States, 79 percent of all respondents said that this fact makes them more supportive of hosting the tournament.