The Olympics. The Super Bowl. The Final Four. The College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
And now the World Cup.
In what will serve as yet another landmark event for the city, FIFA on Thursday announced that Atlanta will serve as one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
Atlanta and the now-demolished Georgia Dome missed out on being involved in the last World Cup held on the continent in 1994, which was held solely within U.S. borders. But with Mercedes-Benz Stadium boasting plenty of big events in just 5 years, and with a vibrant and still-emerging soccer scene, the inclusion of the city this time around — with the 2026 World Cup set for 30 years after the United States were crowned the first-ever Olympic women’s soccer champions at Sanford Stadium in Athens — wasn’t a surprise.
The match schedule has not yet been finalized, but will be announced by FIFA in mid-2023, according to Atlanta Sports Council Dan Corso. While Atlanta was recommended to host a semifinal, that part of the process is still being worked out.
A total of 11 cities in the United States will play host to World Cup matches in 2026, with 3 cities in Mexico being named hosts and 2 in Canada. Five of the American cities chosen — Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, and the Bay Area — were hosts for the 1994 tournament. A Baltimore/Washington joint bid, as well as those for Cincinnati, Denver, Edmonton, Nashville, and Orlando, were not selected; Washington (as a single-city bid) and Orlando were host cities 28 years ago. Mexico City and Guadalajara (1970, 1986), along with Monterrey (1986), have been World Cup hosts in the past, with the Azteca hosting the final in both 1970 and 1986 as well as the infamous “Hand of God” Argentina-England quarterfinal during the latter tournament.
Meanwhile, Canada has never hosted a Men’s World Cup, but Vancouver was a host city for the 2015 Women’s World Cup as 5 group stage matches, a pair of Round of 16 matches, a quarterfinal, and the final were all played at BC Place.
2026 FIFA World Cup Host Cities
Guadalajara (Estadio Akron)
Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium)
San Francisco Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium)
Seattle (Lumen Field)
Vancouver (BC Place)
Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
Dallas/Fort Worth (AT&T Stadium)
Houston (NRG Stadium)
Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium)
Mexico City (Estadio Azteca)
Monterrey (Estadio BBVA)
Toronto (BMO Field)
Boston (Gillette Stadium)
Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
Miami (Hard Rock Stadium)
New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium)