Jacksonville among 32 USA cities to bid for 2026 World Cup

A total of 41 cities across the United States Canada and Mexico have officially submitted a bid to host matches

Forty-one cities - almost every market identified as a potential venue by organizers bidding to host the 2026 World Cup in North America - have submitted formal proposals to stage matches in the tournament, bid officials said Thursday. It will then select between 20 and 25 for inclusion in the formal bid, which is due to Federation Internationale de Football Association by March 18. Federation Internationale de Football Association will announce the victor next June.

The only other nation competing with North America's combined bid is Morocco, though it's widely expected that CONCACAF will be awarded the 2026 tournament, as the confederation has not hosted the World Cup since 1994.

If the North American effort is successful, the committee would then work with Federation Internationale de Football Association in coming years to finalize at least 12 stadiums.

Although most cities on the initial list are perfectly capable of staging matches, expense and logistics will dictate a smaller number. Counting Canadian and Mexican cities, the bid includes 41 candidates in all. Soldier Field underwent a gut renovation in 2002-03. But there are also less likely venues: Birmingham, Ala.; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City, and Regina, Saskatchewan.

The list features 32 cities in the US six in Canada and three in Mexico
The list features 32 cities in the US six in Canada and three in Mexico

Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group-stage matches and at least 80,000 for the opening game and final.

The U.S. would host 60 of 80 games, including all from the quarterfinals on. The L.A. National Football League venue and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey are early favorites for the final.

Cities not selected to host matches may be involved with the 2026 World Cup in other ways such as hosting broadcast centers, team base camps, or other events.

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