The Mercedes-Benz Dome welcomes FIFA. (Photo courtesy of US Soccer)

FIFA Thursday concluded the first venue visits to the World Cup 2026 candidate host cities ,with a delegation led by FIFA vice president and Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, completing a tour of Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami.

During every visit, the FIFA delegation held meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including city and stadium authorities, as well as football clubs and other sports organisations, while covering key topics like venue management, infrastructure, sustainability and commercial, legal and legacy matters. The visits also comprised inspections of essential infrastructure, such as stadiums, training facilities and potential FIFA Fan Festival venues.

“The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be an absolute milestone in football history and all the cities we have visited are fully aware of it. We would like to thank them all for their tremendous work, commitment and passion as they would not only like to offer an amazing event for the whole world but also leave a fond legacy far beyond 2026,” Montagliani said in a statement.

Added FIFA chief tournaments and events officer Colin Smith: “The response and enthusiasm from all the candidate host cities have been outstanding. These inspection visits have given us an important insight into a variety of key aspects that will be considered in order to select the best venues. This is a very competitive process featuring excellent bids.”

The remaining US bidding venues, including those in Canada and Mexico, will be visited by the end of November, with a view to performing a thorough assessment and finalizing the selection process by first or second quarters of 2022.