UPDATE: Atlanta is one of 41 cities to officially submit a bid to serve as host for the CONCACAF 2026 World Cup joint bid.
In a widely-expected move, the United Bid Committee of the United States, Canada and Mexico has identified Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the city of Atlanta as a potential hosting site for 2026 World Cup matches. The committee has reached out to a total forty-four cities across the three nations and, from there, will cut that list to twenty to twenty-five when it presents its official bid to FIFA in January.
Atlanta is one of several cities in the Southeastern United States on a list that includes Charlotte, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Nashville, among others. As a reminder, these are potential sites, but to see Atlanta snubbed when the committee submits its bid in a few months would be a surprise. From a capacity, amenity and construction standpoint, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is one of the most elite stadiums in the country - certainly one of the most elite among the venues listed - and surely will be one of the centerpieces of the committee’s final bid. (Having Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra on the committee doesn’t hurt, either.) It will also have hosted events such as the Final Four, Super Bowl and potentially multiple College Football Playoff National Championships by the time 2026 rolls around.
One note from the press release is that any of the finalist cities could host the World Cup’s International Broadcast Center. With the Georgia World Congress Center next door and Atlanta’s ties to broadcasting, the city holding that role along with being a match host is a big possibility as well.