The Bay Area could host World Cup matches in 2026 after the FIFA Congress selected the “United” bid by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host the international soccer tournament.
The Bay Area, specifically Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, is one of 23 candidate host locations in North America under consideration, and up to 16 will be chosen by FIFA in 2020.
Other West Coast cities under consideration are Los Angeles and Seattle, while other major locations such as New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Houston and Miami are also in the mix.
Three cities from Canada — Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton — as well as Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico are among the 23 candidates.
It will be the first time North America has hosted the World Cup since 1994, and each of the 23 host city candidates has stadiums already built and operational, organizers said.
“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,” Bay Area Host Committee executive director Patricia Ernstrom said in a statement.
“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,” Ernstrom said.
The selection of the United bid for the 2026 tournament comes a day before the start of this year’s World Cup in Russia. The U.S. did not qualify for this year’s tournament.