United bid secures rights to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™
The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States has been selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ during the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.
The Bay Area, featuring Levi’s Stadium, stands as one of 23 candidate host cities under consideration for the historic event. For the first time in history, FIFA’s Member Associations were given the opportunity to vote on the host for the FIFA World Cup™ and did so by a vote of 134-65.
Patricia Ernstrom, Executive Director of the Bay Area Host Committee, said:
The United Bid coordinated the most comprehensive and inclusive proposal to host the World Cup in history and we are incredibly proud to be associated with their winning bid to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to North America.
We are extremely appreciative of our partners throughout the Bay Area who helped us pull together a formidable bid to host matches during the summer of 2026 that would bring thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to this region.
Our Bay Area bid received the second-highest technical evaluation from FIFA during the review process so we are excited about our prospects for being selected as a host city by FIFA in 2020.
Al Guido, President, San Francisco 49ers and CEO, Elevate Sports Ventures, said:
Levi’s Stadium has seen the world soccer stage for the Copa America Centenario and the Gold Cup, and we are humbled to now be preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime possibility of hosting the FIFA World Cup.
I want to congratulate the United Bid team for leading a collaborative process that leveraged the best of what each of its candidate host cities has to offer. We look forward to working with them and FIFA to celebrate the world’s game and contribute to its growth throughout our region for 2026 and beyond.
This week’s vote, which occurred a day before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, also marks the first time three nations have been selected to co-host a FIFA World Cup™ and the first time the tournament will be played in North America in 32 years.
The United Bid offers FIFA and its 211 Member Associations unity, certainty and opportunity as they prepare to host the largest FIFA World Cup in history, which will be expanded to a 48-team format.
Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said:
Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege. Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history. Our vision is of a world of opportunity for our Candidate Host Cities and for the global football community.
Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said:
We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA’s new vision for the future of football. Together—in partnership with our Candidate Host Cities, the Member Associations, and FIFA—we will use this platform to unite the world around football and help create a new and sustainable blueprint for the future of FIFA World Cups.
Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said:
Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport. We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the FIFA family have put in our bid; strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the CONCACAF region; and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come.
With the FIFA Congress decision to award the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, to the football federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States, the three nations will jointly manage preparations until FIFA establishes their operations to manage the competition. Among other decisions, FIFA will make the final selection of host cities for the 2026 competition from the 23 candidates proposed in the United Bid.
Each of the United Bid’s 23 proposed stadiums are fully built, occupied, and operational, ensuring long-term use following the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. In addition, the United Bid has 150 existing world-class training facilities, millions of hotel rooms, and advanced infrastructure.
The United Bid is expected to generate more than US$14bn in revenue and US$11bn in profits for FIFA, which will be shared with the 211 FIFA Member Associations, helping further develop and expand the game of football across the globe.
2026 FIFA World Cup Facts and Figures:
|Number of Teams: 48||Candidate Host Cites: 23||Projected Profit: $11 billion|
|Number of Matches: 80||Proposed Training Sites: 150||Projected Economic Impact: $5 billion|
|Number of Players: +1,100||Projected Revenue: $14 billion||Projected Ticket Sales: 5.8 million|
Source & images, courtesy: LevisStadium.com
Al Guido, President, San Francisco 49ers and CEO, Elevate Sports Ventures, is one of the many industry expert speakers taking part in Europe’s first Premium Seat event, ALSD International, coming to London this October.