FIFA Still Scouting Cities For 2026 World Cup Hosts

America, Canada and Mexico will have matches.

The governing body of international soccer, FIFA, has again sent a delegation to the United States and Mexico to see which cities are good enough to host matches during the 2026 Men’s World Cup. Good enough means, how much money a local area is willing to pony up to satisfy FIFA. The United States, Canada and Mexico are hosting the global competition. East Rutherford, New Jersey and Inglewood, California more than likely don’t have to put on much of a show to convince the money loving soccer group that New York and Los Angeles have the markets that have what it takes to host a game. America’s third largest market, Chicago, won’t make the cut because local officials and business leaders decided the World Cup is too expensive a proposition for the area. Las Vegas didn’t bother putting in a bid either. It is hard to imagine FIFA turning down Jerry Jones’s Arlington, Texas Cowboys stadium or Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s facility, Ross has an incentive to land the World Cup, he gets a big bonus from local government officials when he lands a big event because big events allegedly bring in tourists who spend money in the area.

The latest FIFA visits took place in Kansas City, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterrey, Mexico, San Francisco and Seattle. There will be another visit in late November to other American markets. According to FIFA, the purpose of the visit was to hold meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including city and stadium authorities, as well as football clubs and other sports organizations, while covering key topics like venue management, infrastructure, sustainability and commercial, legal and legacy matters. Legacy matters is an interesting area. Sports mega-events such as the World Cup generally leave a legacy of large debt once the circus leaves town.

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United States’ Ricardo Pepi (16) celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal against Jamaica during a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)