In case you haven’t heard, earlier this week it was announced that the combined bid of the United States, Canada, and Mexico had been selected to host soccer’s biggest event, the World Cup. The three countries will host the affair in 2026, and apparently the plan is going to include ten cities in the U.S. hosting games, along with three cities in Mexico and three cities in Canada.
Unfortunately for soccer fans in the Twin Cities, if you’re anticipating catching a case of World Cup Fever, you’re going to have to get your cowbell. . .er, medication. . .a little further away.
According to sources, these are the cities that could potentially be serving as hosts for the 2026 World Cup.
3 nations.— United 2026 (@united2026) June 13, 2018
16 host cities.
| https://t.co/jbld3pvI99 pic.twitter.com/75IDWh93FU
If the map is a bit difficult to see, here are the U.S. cities that are on the list:
- Kansas City
- Los Angeles
- New York/New Jersey
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
The three Canadian cities will be Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto, while the three Mexican venues will be in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey. It has already been announced that the finals will be held at Met Life Stadium, but it’s unclear whether it will host any other games besides the final. If they do, that leaves nine of the other fifteen U.S. cities to be potential hosts.
The 2026 World Cup will be significant because it will be the first year that the pool of teams expands to 48 (it currently sits at 32). While U.S. Bank Stadium appears to meet the capacity for World Cup play, as its capacity can be expanded to 73,000, it would appear that the organizers prefer stadiums that are outdoors (or can be made “outdoors” through the use of a retractable roof).
Unfortunately for Twin Cities soccer fans, it doesn’t appear that a lot of the other host cities are that close, either. Kansas City might be the closest one, but that’s still a solid seven or eight hours of driving. So, if you want to attend any of the World Cup the next time it comes to North America, you might want to start scraping your pennies together now, because you’re going to have a road trip ahead.