PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 2026 is going to be a big year for the City of Philadelphia now that we officially know what World Cup matches are going to be played here. Now, it's time to really start planning for logistics.
"We want every county to feel the benefit, not just the five counties we typically think about," said Meg Kane, Host City Executive for Philadelphia Soccer 2026. "We've been in Lancaster and York, Berks, Lehigh. We want to keep going. There's real excitement and enthusiasm for this event coming."
City officials have already begun reaching out to surrounding area partners and beyond as the true planning begins for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Officials will be focused on transportation, security and safety, and have already been in touch with police, security and homeland with how to coordinate and manage all of it.
We now know a total of six World Cup matches will be played at Lincoln Financial Field, which includes five group stage matches in June and a round of 16 matches to be played on the Fourth of July -- which just so happens to be America's 250th birthday.
The matches are expected to bring more than half a million people to the area.
Officials say preliminary economic impact studies show the matches could bring in an estimated $500 million to the area. That includes $262 million in direct spending. However, they say stadium spending is separate.
Meanwhile, officials are also working on plans to build down the Linc, hospitality villages and space for the international broadcast compounds. Not to mention stay for all the people expected to attend.
"Each one of these matches will consume about 26,000 room nights. To put that in perspective, the city proper has 14,400 rooms in the city and county of Philadelphia, so you think about what that immediate impact is going to have on our collar counties and our partners in South Jersey," said Gregg Caren, CEO of Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Officials said that come spring, they should be able to discuss more regarding the fan fest locations and potential watch parties. Tickets are also expected to go on sale in a year.