The metropolitan region, represented by Baltimore, was not among the hosts of the world championship.
The International Football Federation (FIFA), at a ceremony held in New York with the participation of the president of the organization Gianni Infantino, announced the list of cities where the matches of the 2026 World Cup will be held. For the first time in history, the tournament will be hosted jointly by 3 countries at once – the USA, Canada and Mexico. At the same time, 60 of the 80 matches will be held in the United States, including all quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
According to the results of the selection, FIFA made a choice in favor of 16 applications out of 22 candidate cities, including 11 American ones. The World Cup will be hosted by 2 cities in the states of California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Texas (Houston and Dallas), as well as Miami, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston and the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, which is jointly represented in the application by New Jersey and New York.
Among those left out of the tournament is the joint bid of the U.S. capital – Washington and Baltimore – a city located in Maryland. It was represented by the M&T Bank Stadium, which is the home arena of the Baltimore Ravens American football club.
The final list of the championship hosts did not include any of the stadiums that hosted the first World Cup for the USA in 1994. Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, fought for the right to host the matches of the upcoming championship, where the final of the 94 World Cup between the national teams of Brazil and Italy took place.
The 2026 World Cup will also be hosted by two cities in Canada – Vancouver and Toronto – and three cities in Mexico – Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City. The Azteca Stadium in the Mexican capital, the largest in Latin America, will be the first football arena in history to host matches of three World Championships. It was on it that the final matches of the championships of 1970 and 1986, which were held by Mexico, took place.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first in history to be attended by 48 national teams. The number of participants in the final round will be increased for the first time since 1998, when 32 teams qualified for the tournament for the first time. The format of the competition will also change. In each of the 16 groups of the preliminary round, there will be not 4, but 3 teams, and the two best teams from each group will advance to the playoff round, which will begin with the 1/16 finals.
The exact dates of the tournament, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, have not yet been determined, as well as the stadiums that will host the opening match of the 2026 World Cup and the final. The previously announced dates are from June 11 to July 12, but, as the head of the football federation said immediately after the ceremony in New York, additional consultations will be required to make a final decision.