FIFA hopes to have World Cup cities named by the end of 2026


17 American cities are still in the running to host games for the 2026 North American World Cup. (Catherine Ivill / Getty Images)

FIFA set a new goal on Tuesday to have all 16 host cities for the North American World Cup 2026 completed by the end of the year, provided that inspectors can visit each city in good time amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

There are currently 23 candidate cities competing for a place to host the 48-team expanded World Cup in 2026 – 17 in the US and three each in Canada and Mexico.

There are currently plans to host 60 of the 80 World Cup games in the United States and then another 10 in Canada and Mexico. MetLife Stadium in New Jersey – home of the New York Giants and Jets – is expected to host the final, according to The Associated Press.

Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City are the three Mexican cities hoping for games, and Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton are the three Canadian cities.

The other cities in the United States considered are:

  • Atlanta

  • Baltimore

  • Boston

  • Cincinnati

  • Dallas

  • Denver

  • Houston

  • Kansas City

  • los Angeles

  • Miami

  • Nashville

  • New York / New Jersey

  • Orlando

  • Philadelphia

  • San Francisco

  • Seattle

  • Washington, D.C.

Before FIFA announces its final list of cities for the Games, the Officials must make inspection trips to each city on the list – which could prove difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States had more than 25.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the most common worldwide, and averaging more than 170,000 new cases and more than 3,000 deaths per day, according to the New York Times. Canada had more than 750,000 confirmed cases, although only more than 5,400 new cases were registered in the past week. Mexico had more than 1.77 million, of which 17,400 occurred last week.

“The visits will only take place if the health and safety situation in the host countries allows FIFA to do so,” the organization said in a statement via The Associated Press.

“Realizing the commercial potential of each venue, as well as the sustainability, human rights and heritage of events, is paramount.”

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