Atlanta’s brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will likely make a big play to host World Cup 2026 matches. Currently, the United States, Mexico and Canada are in the process of trying to win the rights for that tournament. The three CONCACAF nations have submitted a joint bid to FIFA and are awaiting their fate.
If the bid is successful, AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon says that they’d very much like to host some matches when the time comes.
“It’s not going to be the next, but if the World Cup comes to North America. We’d love to be hosting part of that,” Cannon told 11 Alive.
After several construction delays, MBS is scheduled to finally open on August 26. In addition to hosting Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United home games, it’s already scheduled to host the 2018 College Football Championship Game, the 2019 Super Bowl, and the 2020 Final Four.
With the 2026 World Cup being the first to be expanded to 48 teams, there will be plenty of matches to be hosted for the USA. Of the 80 total matches to be played, the U.S. will host 60 of them. Just by process of elimination, you have to think Atlanta is a shoo-in to host at least one match and could even get an important fixture like a quarterfinal or semifinal. The only possible roadblock in the way is the venue’s artificial turf, which a men’s World Cup has never been played on. They have about nine years to figure out a solution to that issue, whether it be lay down a temporary natural surface or something else.