FIFA on Thursday began unveiling its plans for a sprawling, three-nation men’s World Cup in 2026 by announcing the host cities for soccer’s biggest-ever championship. The tournament, to be hosted jointly by the United States, Mexico and Canada, will be the first to have 48 teams, an increase from the current 32, and take place in cities throughout North America.
“This part of the world doesn’t realize what will happen here in 2026,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at a news conference in Manhattan following the televised announcement.
The choices, 16 cities selected from a list of 22 finalists, were revealed in three regional groupings, blocs representing the East, Central and West regions.
The winning bidders included legendary soccer venues like Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which has hosted two World Cup finals. They included metropolitan areas with previous World Cup hosting experience like Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, and Guadalajara, Mexico. They included newcomers like Toronto, Philadelphia, Miami and Seattle. They included smaller cities like Kansas City, Mo.
The final groupings:
EAST: Toronto (BMO Field); Boston (Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.); Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field); Miami (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.); and New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.).
CENTRAL: Kansas City, Mo. (Arrowhead Stadium); Dallas (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas); Atlanta (Mercedes Benz Stadium); Houston (NRG Stadium);…