After months of speculation and competition with Morocco's bid, the joint "United 2026" bid of U.S., Canada and Mexico was awarded Wednesday with the hosting rights to the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026.
The result at the FIFA Congress on the eve of the 2018 tournament means global football's showpiece event will return to the North American continent for the first time since the United States hosted it in 1994. That event set attendance and television viewership records and helped kick-start the rapid growth of men's professional soccer in the country. Preparation for the World Cup will not require major construction work because the 16 stadiums where matches will be played already exist. Mexico and Canada will get 10 games each. The United States will host the remaining 60, including the final.
President Donald Trump welcomed the news, tweeting: "The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup".
The vote by national football federations was public, in contrast to secrecy surrounding the 2010 vote when FIFA's elected board members picked Russia to host in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, defeating the U.S. Canadian soccer player Sophie Schmidt played in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and hopes Edmonton will host some games in 2026.
The stadium will also get an upgrade for the World Cup, with the capacity growing from about 15,000 seats to 45,000 thanks to temporary stands in the north and south end, like the setup for last year's MLS Cup final and the NHL's Centennial Classic in 2016.
Russian politician Igor Lebedev will get his way and hooliganism will become an official sport midway through the tournament in a bid to remove the carnage from the terraces and the streets. However, Shanks expects soccer's popularity to continue to grow in the USA within the next eight years. "It should be based on the merits of the bid".
"We put together an unbelievable bid", Cordeiro said.
It's not unusual for cities to earn selection as team base camps even if they're not hosting matches. "Categorically, nobody", Cordeiro said. For instance, Los Angeles may host the US opener, Dallas is mentioned as a candidate to host the semifinals, while the final match is expected to take place in Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside of New York City.
This is mainly because from when the venue first opened in 1978 and right up to 2009, Commonwealth Stadium - now known as The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium - was a natural-grass location, making it an ideal fit for Canadian national team games and global tournaments.