CHICAGO (AP/WJZ) — FIFA intends to announce the venues for the 2026 World Cup during a press conference on June 16 in New York.
Seventeen US stadiums in 16 territories — including M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore — remain in the bid for the first 48-team World Cup. Three stadiums each in Canada and Mexico are expected to be used.
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The 2026 World Cup will be the first with three co-hosts. FIFA selected the bid as co-host in June 2018.
60 games will be played in the USA, including all from the quarterfinals onwards. Canada and Mexico are each scheduled to host ten games.
In April, Baltimore and Washington DC pooled their bids in hopes of hosting games at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, and a fan festival on the National Mall in the nation’s capital, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. and Washington, DC Mayor Muriel, Bowser said.
“I am very pleased to be working with the District of Columbia to strengthen our bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” said Scott. “This is a unique opportunity to bring another world-class event to Charm City. Mayor Bowser and I want to make sure we give our cities the best opportunity to win this major event that will provide massive economic boost to both urban centers.”
Washington organizers initially proposed hosting games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. Opened in 1997, the field was among older facilities that first applied in 2017. Games were played here during the 1999 Women’s World Cup. RFK Stadium in DC hosted games during the 1994 Men’s World Cup and is slated for demolition.
In September, representatives from FIFA and US Soccer toured M&T Bank Stadium and other sports facilities in Baltimore.
The Maryland Sports Commission has led charges of bringing World Cup games to Baltimore.
Prior to FIFA’s visit last summer, the group promoted M&T Bank Stadium’s downtown location and proximity to hotel rooms, training facilities and other attractions.
“Just 10 miles from BWI Marshall International Airport and with more than 10,000 hotel rooms within walking distance, the stadium and city maps are also consistently lauded for providing a great fan experience and creating a true sports-loving city vibe,” organizers said in a press release .
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Scott, Lt. gov. Boyd Rutherford and local sportswear company Under Armor all backed the bid.
FIFA’s plan called for a total of 16 venues for the tournament. The organization targeted mid-May to announce site selection, then pushed it back a month.
Chicago, Minneapolis and Arizona all dropped out in March 2018 after city officials described it as onerous financial demands from FIFA. Then Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City; and Tampa, Florida were cut.
Montreal pulled out last August after the Quebec provincial government withdrew its support. It was replaced in April by Vancouver, British Columbia, which made an initial bid in 2017 and said in March 2018 it was turned down for refusing to comply with FIFA’s requirements, which include tax exemptions and agreements under Swiss law .
The remaining areas and stadiums:
Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium; Atlanta, Mercedes Benz Stadium; Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium; Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium; Denver, Empower Field at Mile High; East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts, Gillette Stadium; Houston, NRG Stadium; Inglewood, California, SoFi Stadium; Kansas City, Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium; Miami Gardens, Florida, Hard Rock Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee, Nissan Stadium; Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium; Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl; Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field; Santa Clara, California, Levi’s Stadium; Seattle, Lumenfeld.
Edmonton, Alberta, Commonwealth Stadium; Toronto, BMO field; Vancouver, British Columbia, BC location.
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Guadalajara, Akron Stadium; Mexico City, Estadio Azteca; Monterrey, Estadio BBVA.