FIFA and CONCACAF are inching nearer to creating the ultimate name on which cities within the U.S., Canada and Mexico will host matches for the 2026 World Cup, with selections anticipated someday subsequent spring.
The FIFA and CONCACAF delegation wrapped up its second set of web site visits Monday in Seattle, which is seen as one of many strongest candidates for internet hosting matches as a consequence of its soccer historical past, favorable summertime climate and because the sole metropolis within the Pacific Northwest to bid.
FIFA chief tournaments and occasions officer Colin Smith mentioned all web site visits ought to be accomplished by the top of November, with a choice anticipated someday towards the top of March or early April.
“Definitely the choice is getting more durable and more durable with each cease, which I assume is an efficient downside to have,” Smith mentioned.
The 2026 World Cup would be the first with 48 groups but it surely additionally presents a logistical problem with the most important geographic footprint of any World Cup up to now. Video games might be performed from Edmonton, Alberta, to Mexico Metropolis and Seattle to Boston. Smith mentioned they’re at the moment considering 16 cities will likely be chosen as hosts, however that isn’t set.
Seattle was on the tail finish of a collection of web site visits that included Kansas Metropolis, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterrey, Mexico, and San Francisco. The delegation visited Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and the New York-New Jersey space in September.
One other collection of visits is arising this month to Mexico Metropolis, Guadalajara, Mexico, Los Angeles, Edmonton and Toronto.
“Finally, it’s kind of of a jigsaw puzzle of all these completely different areas,” Smith mentioned. “To interrupt down the magic of a World Cup is clearly extremely troublesome so the one approach to do it’s actually to take a look at all of the constituent teams.”
One of many large questions dealing with Seattle and another bid cities will likely be what to do about their stadiums with artificial fields. FIFA requires grass surfaces for the World Cup.
“In enterprise it is about location, location, location,” CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani mentioned. “Properly, soccer is about pitch, pitch and pitch.”
Seattle does not appear prone to change the artificial discipline utilized by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders of MLS at Lumen Subject and had combined outcomes up to now with non permanent grass surfaces. Most just lately, Seattle used a brief grass floor for the 2016 Copa America with nice success, partly as a result of it was set in place and used for a number of weeks.
“FIFA is a whole lot of NFL stadiums. Most of them have artificial,” Seattle Sounders proprietor and Seattle 2026 bid chair Adrian Hanauer mentioned. “So in my thoughts this isn’t essentially the most vital piece to the bid.”