Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On the same day that Brazilian federal police made early-morning corruption arrests of three Olympic committee executives, including the head of the Rio 2016 Committee—a good reminder that people do financially benefit from hosting major international sporting events, just never the people that are supposed to—a United Bid Committee has released a pared-down list of 32 cities in the United States, Mexico, and Canada that could host the 2026 World Cup.


The three-nation joint bid is the runaway favorite, and CONCACAF is reportedly planning to ask FIFA to award the 2026 World Cup without opening a formal bidding process to other nations. As the first expanded tournament, featuring 48 teams instead of the traditional 32, it is expected that there will be likely 16–18 host cities, so this list will be trimmed even further. But for now, here are the cities still in the running:


Edmonton, Alberta
Montréal, Québec
Toronto, Ontario
Vancouver, British Columbia


Guadalajara, Jalisco
Mexico City, Mexico
Monterrey, Nuevo León

United States

Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Chicago, Illinois
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Detroit, Michigan
Houston, Texas
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nashville, Tennessee
New York/New Jersey
Orlando, Florida
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Francisco Bay Area
Seattle, Washington
Tampa, Florida
Washington, DC


The cities eliminated in this first cutdown were Birmingham, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Regina, and San Antonio. Three cities initially reached out to by the bid committee—Green Bay, San Diego, and Calgary—opted not to throw their names in the hat.

The cities are being chosen based on their infrastructure, including stadiums, transportation, and hotels, but also, according to ESPN, “ways each city could contribute to furthering the sport’s development, including the social, economic and environmental legacy.” That means spending money. It also means, with a final list expected to comprise about half of the cities still in the running, and with no other serious national bids in the offing, that it’ll be North American cities competing with each other to give FIFA what it wants, rather than countries. I’m excited for the civic-level corruption arrests to come in a decade.

Deputy editor | Deadspin

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