Introduction to the 2026 World Cup
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the 23rd edition of the tournament, and it will be the first World Cup to be hosted by three countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This event is set to break many records as it will be the largest World Cup ever, with 48 teams participating in the tournament, and it will also mark the return of the World Cup to North America since the United States hosted it in 1994.
The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup began in 2016, and the United 2026 bid was selected as the winning bid in 2018, beating out a bid from Morocco. This will be the first time that three countries have hosted the World Cup, and it is also the first time that the tournament will be held in November and December, instead of the traditional June and July dates.
The 2026 World Cup is expected to have a significant economic impact, with estimates suggesting that it could generate $5 billion in revenue and create 40,000 jobs across the three host countries. The tournament will also be an opportunity for the host countries to showcase their cultural heritage and tourist attractions to the world.
Overall, the 2026 World Cup is set to be a historic event, bringing together three nations to host the world’s most popular sporting event and showcasing the best of North America to the world.
United 2026 Bid: The Three Host Countries
The United 2026 bid was a joint bid submitted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This was the first time that three countries had come together to submit a bid for the tournament. The bid was successful, and the three nations will co-host the event.
Canada, Mexico, and the United States each have a unique footballing culture and history, and the joint bid will allow them to showcase their individual strengths and come together to put on a world-class event. Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches, while the United States will host the remaining 60 matches, including the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final.
Canada has a growing footballing culture, and the country has recently invested heavily in the sport, with the creation of the Canadian Premier League and the successful hosting of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Mexico is a footballing powerhouse, having qualified for every World Cup since 1994 and winning the tournament in 1970 and 1986. The United States has made significant strides in the sport over the past few decades, hosting the World Cup in 1994 and establishing Major League Soccer, which has become one of the fastest-growing sports leagues in the world.
By coming together to host the 2026 World Cup, Canada, Mexico, and the United States will not only showcase their footballing strengths but also their diverse cultures and traditions. The tournament is set to be a celebration of North America’s unity and diversity, as the three host countries welcome the world to their shores.
Stadiums and Cities for the 2026 World Cup
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted across 16 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The United States will host 10 cities, while Canada and Mexico will each host three cities. Each host city will have at least one stadium to host the matches.
The tournament’s final will be held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is the home stadium of the New York Giants and New York Jets. The stadium has a seating capacity of 82,500 and has previously hosted major events such as the Super Bowl and WrestleMania.
Other notable stadiums that will be used for the tournament include the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, which has a seating capacity of 87,523 and is the home stadium of the Mexican national team. The AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which is the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys, will also be used for the tournament, with a seating capacity of 105,000.
The Canadian cities of Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto will each host matches. The Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton has a seating capacity of 56,335 and has previously hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The Olympic Stadium in Montreal has a seating capacity of 61,004 and was used for the 1976 Summer Olympics. Toronto’s BMO Field has a seating capacity of 30,000 and is the home stadium of Toronto FC.
The 2026 World Cup will provide an opportunity for fans to explore some of North America’s most vibrant cities while enjoying the beautiful game. The tournament is set to showcase some of the world’s most iconic stadiums and provide a platform for the host cities to showcase their culture, history, and hospitality.
Qualification Process for the 2026 World Cup
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first tournament to feature 48 teams, up from the previous 32 teams. The expanded format means that more teams will have the opportunity to qualify for the tournament, with 46 teams from the FIFA-affiliated nations eligible to participate in the qualifying rounds.
The qualification process will be split into two stages. The first stage will involve the 46 eligible teams competing in a single round-robin format, with the top six teams from each group advancing to the second stage. The second stage will see the 12 remaining teams compete in a knockout format, with the winner of each match advancing to the World Cup.
The three host countries, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, will automatically qualify for the tournament, making up three of the 48 teams that will compete in the World Cup. This means that 45 teams will need to go through the qualifying process to earn their place in the tournament.
The qualifying matches are expected to begin in 2024 and conclude in 2026, leading up to the tournament’s November and December dates. The expanded format and the inclusion of more teams from different nations will provide an opportunity for football to reach new audiences and for emerging nations to showcase their talent on the global stage.
The qualification process for the 2026 World Cup will be an exciting journey for the participating teams and their fans, as they compete for the opportunity to represent their nations in one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.
Key Dates and Events for the 2026 World Cup
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is set to take place from November 20 to December 18, 2026, with matches being played across 16 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Here are some of the key dates and events to look out for in the lead up to the tournament:
Qualification Rounds: The qualification rounds are expected to begin in 2024 and conclude in 2026, leading up to the World Cup.
Final Draw: The final draw for the tournament is expected to take place in the host nation, the United States, in 2026. This is where the participating teams will be drawn into their respective groups for the tournament.
Opening Match: The opening match of the 2026 World Cup is set to take place in Mexico City at the Estadio Azteca, which has previously hosted World Cup matches in 1970 and 1986.
Closing Match: The final of the 2026 World Cup will be held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is also the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Festivities and Events: In addition to the matches, the 2026 World Cup will feature a range of festivities and events across the host cities. These will include cultural performances, food and drink festivals, and fan zones where supporters can come together to celebrate the tournament.
The 2026 World Cup is set to be a historic event, bringing together three nations to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. With an expanded format, more teams, and matches across multiple cities, the tournament promises to be an unforgettable experience for football fans around the world.