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National Sports

2026 World Cup is awarded to North America

  • Author: Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: June 13
  • Published June 13

MOSCOW — The alliance of United States, Mexico and Canada was awarded the 2026 World Cup by FIFA Wednesday morning, bringing the premier event in international sports back to the U.S. after a 32-year absence.

FIFA member delegations, voting Wednesday during their 68th Congress in Moscow, chose the so-called United Bid over a rival proposal from Morocco. The vote tally was 134-65.

The World Cup will expand to 48 teams and 80 games for 2026 and the U.S. will stage 60 of those matches. The other 20 — all group-stage games — will be split between Mexico and Canada.

Los Angeles is one of 23 proposed host cities and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena one of the stadiums under consideration as a match site. The NFL facility under construction in Inglewood could also be used.

The 1994 World Cup, the only one played in the U.S., was the most financially successful and best-attended tournament in history. And the United committee's bid packet is expecting the 2026 event to be even more lucrative, projecting a record $14 billion in revenue and $11 billion in profits. That would bring each of FIFA's 211 members $50 million.

The previous World Cup, held four years ago in Brazil, generated $4.8 billion for FIFA. Leaders of the Morocco bid said they expected an African tournament to generate $5 billion in revenue. The United Bid is expecting to make more than half that in ticket revenue alone.

The 2026 World Cup will also be the first hosted jointly by three countries. The only other World Cup played in more than one country was in the 2002 event shared by South Korea and Japan.

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