Philadelphia selected as one of 16 cities to host World Cup games in 2026

Officials say Lincoln Financial Field will be able to accommodate roughly 62,000 fans.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Friday, June 17, 2022
Philadelphia selected to host World Cup games in 2026
Philadelphia has been named one of 16 cities to host World Cup games in 2026.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Seattle and Kansas City, Missouri, were the newcomers among the 11 U.S. sites picked to host games at the 2026 World Cup, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida, were left out.

Arlington, Texas; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Inglewood and Santa Clara, California, were the holdovers.

FIFA announced its selections Thursday for the first World Cup with three co-hosts, also picking three Mexican cities and two in Canada.

The bid plan envisioned 60 games in the U.S., including all from the quarterfinals on, and 10 each in Mexico and Canada.

Specific sites for each round will be announced later.

Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin who says a World Cup event in this city will hopefully revive interest in the game and bring more fans to their games in Chester.

"It's huge for our players and hopefully this will bring more people to watch our games. We have a family friendly, real party atmosphere in Subaru Park," said Curtin.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "I had a good feeling that day. I can't say I had a good feeling today. My stomach was in knots when they called out Boston first I was like, 'Oh Lord.'"

Hundreds of people packed into Love Park for the host city watch party.

The city is anticipating 500,000 people to visit Philadelphia for the World Cup.

The economic impact alone will create 3,500 jobs and over a quarter of a billion dollars for the city.

"Folks will remember Philly in the best possible way," said Dan Hilferty, the Chair of Philadelphia Soccer 2026.

Fans say they'll do and pay whatever it takes to be at a game.

"No matter the cost, I hope I'm making enough money, but I'll be there," said Sumaire Shamlal of South Philadelphia.

Officials say Lincoln Financial Field will be able to accommodate roughly 62,000 fans.

In September, a delegation from FIFA and US Soccer visited the City of Brotherly Love, including Lincoln Financial Field which would serve as the city's prime venue.

"We were able to demonstrate how Philadelphia delivers big events in a really strong and collaborative way. We introduced them to all the people that would be part of the team that would bring this to life," Kane said of the September visit.

"We really do just have everything that FIFA is looking for in a host city. We've got a great venue. We've got a compact, walkable city. We've got public transit that allows people to go back and forth from Center City to the stadium via SEPTA, and we have a wonderful hospitality experience," Kane said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.