A combined bid among the United States, Mexico and Canada won the hosting rights for the 2026 soccer World Cup, bringing the tournament to North America for the first time since the United States hosted it in 1994. An amazing fete of solidarity considering the political climate between the United States and Mexico and the United States and Canada.
Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and in 1986. Canada has never been a host. Record setting attendances and anticipated revenues, in the billions of dollars, are expected.
The North American group promised FIFA an $11 billion profit, more than double the amount that Morocco committed to.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first time that it will be hosted by three countries, although most of the tournament will be held in the United States, including the finals potentially being held at MetLife Stadium, capacity 82,000-plus across the bridge in East Rutherford, N.J.
North America outbid Morocco, its only challenger, and was awarded the event by FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, by a vote of 134 to 65.
“Thank you for the incredible privilege,” said Carlos Cordeiro, the president of US Soccer in a short, appreciative speech to the FIFA members after the vote.
Although they were willing to make the accommodations, Morocco would have needed to spend billions of dollars to build at least nine stadiums and significantly renovate five other venues in eight years. Qatar is preparing now to host the World Cup in 2022.
To be considered, a country needs an infrastructure of hotels, highways, rail ways, public transportation and facilities to host a tournament for 1000-plus athletes and their supporting staffs, organizers and their supporting staffs and the millions of fans attending.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to host 48 teams, a significant increase from the 32 that currently participate.
Moroccan official Moncef Belkhayat, unhappy about the FIFA decision stated, “Their offer is based on dollars, on profit, while Morocco is offering an offer that is based on passion for football, for development of football, not only in Morocco, but also in Africa.”
Each national organization participating could potentially earn $50 million.