Here are the cities set to host games as we see it. FIFA has kind of a list of rules to award a city the honor to host a WC game. A few of FIFA’s general requirements give insight into the possible results. To host a World Cup match, each city must be able to hold at least five matches in a stadium with a capacity of at least 40,000 people and showcase strong transportation, solid hospitality services, and modern sports arenas with the ability to accommodate the increased number of fans. Final decision is expected during the 70th FIFA Council in May 2020 in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
United States (10 to be selected, only one is already set)
Each city is listed with its best stadium (with its US soccer rank as per “Best Soccer Cities in America“).
- Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Capacity: 71,000 – Rank: 6). The home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United is a candidate to be a semifinal site as well.
- Boston – Gillette Stadium (Capacity: 65,878; expandable to 70,000 – Rank: 14). The opportunity to serve the Boston area, one of the locales used at the 1994 World Cup, will be one that FIFA won’t want to pass up.
- Dallas – AT&T Stadium (Capacity: 80,000 – Rank: 13). Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium has hosted Gold Cup matches and plenty of international friendlies. Expect it to add a World Cup semifinal to its resume.
- Houston – NRG Stadium (Capacity: 72,000 – Rank: 16). Could be in the group games and early elimination games. The 125,000-square-foot stadium can comfortably seat 71,500 people and has four massive concourse levels for special events and is metro accessible. This stadium, which recently underwent a name change from Reliant Stadium to NRG Stadium, is the only air-conditioned arena with a natural grass playing field and retractable roof in the country. Opening and closing within 7-minutes.
- Los Angeles – Rose Bowl (Capacity: 92,000 – Rank: 1). Los Angeles is practically a lock to be a World Cup host city, and while the Inglewood stadium will be newer, the 92,000-seat Rose Bowl is the stadium in consideration. Given that FIFA already announced that LA will host its 76th FIFA Congress in either LA or New Mexico for in 2026, gives a major hint to its hosting expectation. (FYI; the city of Doha in Qatar will host the 72nd in 2022).
- New York – Metlife Stadium (Capacity: 82,500 to 87,157 – Rank: 8). MetLife Stadium is already set in the United Bid to host the 2026 World Cup Final.
- Orlando (Rank: 2). Orlando City SC plays to 98 percent capacity in a smaller stadium. Could be surprisingly deep. It’s a Florida city with a 60,000-seat stadium, many hotels and other attractions that could block Miami from moving on.
- San Francisco – Levi’s Stadium (Capacity: 68,500 to 75,000 – Rank: 157). It would be surprising if the West Coast doesn’t get three host cities. Levi’s Stadium makes sense just from a travel standpoint.
- Seattle – Centurylink Field (Capacity: 69,000; expandable to 72,000 – Rank: 5). The Pacific Northwest has a deep passion for the sport, with the Seattle Sounders leading the way in MLS attendance for many years until Atlanta beat it out last season. CenturyLink Field holds 72,000.
- Washington D.C. – Fedexfield (Capacity: 82,000 – Rank: 9). FedExField is a huge stadium, and let’s face it — the nation’s capital is going to be a host site. The nation’s capital figures to be in the mix for optics if nothing else. But Washington’s candidacy runs deeper, with the area possessing an extensive history of support for the game. home of the Redskins, so the temptation is to say futbol. The MLS D.C. United draws about 17,000 per game in a 42,000 seat RFK stadium. Although they currently call Audi Field home, which is only a 20,000 fans capacity. But being the capital city also has advantages. Group and early round games, unless politics come into play. Philly is like D.C. is like Baltimore. Three cities enter, one city leaves. (Proposed: Bjarke Ingels-designed new home for the Washington Redskins).