It’s official! The 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup is coming to Canada, with two cities selected as hosts for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The tournament will be an all-North American affair, as 11 cities in the United States and an additional three Mexican cities were chosen to host games for the tournament when it makes its return to a summer event..
It will also mark the return to North America for the first time since USA 1994. Canada last staged an official FIFA event when it hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.
Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis released the following statement upon the release of the news:
“We are very proud of Canada’s candidate host cities for putting together substantial and compelling bids for the FIFA World Cup 2026,. The competition for venue selection was the most robust in FIFA’s history. Today’s success is a testament to the cities, provinces, and federal government’s commitment and dedication in pursuit of hosting the most prestigious single sporting event in the world.
Three Canadian cities had put in official bids, but only those from Toronto and Vancouver were successful. A bid from Edmonton, Alberta appeared to be on its way after hosting two of Canada’s CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches in November 2021.
However, Edmonton’s bid began to unravel in March when Alberta premier Jason Kenney placed conditions for FIFA, including the demand to host a minimum of five games, including two in the knockout phases of the tournament. This was clear to most observers to be an untenable demand of FIFA, especially when the three Canadian cities in the running were only allotted 10 games between them. To no one’s surprise, Edmonton’s bid was not successful.
There will still be much work to do for Toronto and Vancouver. Toronto’s BMO Field, which currently has capacity for about 30,000 spectators, will need to boost that number to about 45,000. This will mostly be accomplished via temporary seating. Vancouver, which just installed a brand new artificial turf surface in January of this year, will need to install a permanent grass field by 2025.
The American host cities chosen were New York/New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. The three Mexican cities selected were Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.
The tournament schedule is yet to be announced, as are the exact number of games per venue. However, with the tournament expanding from the current 32 teams to 48 teams in 2026, there will be a total of 80 games to play. As noted, 10 games are allotted to Canada, 10 to Mexico and the remaining 60 games, including all matches from the quarter-finals onward, will be played in the United States.