Will the 2026 World Cup be held in Seattle?

It has been almost four years since the United States, Canada and Mexico won the right to host the 2026 World Cup. Since then, Seattle has been considered one of the favorites for the Games. On June 16, we’ll finally find out if we’ve been selected. The ad will start showing at 2pm on FS1.

Whether you’ve been following this story all the time or have just been following it, we doubt you have a lot of questions. Let’s see if we can answer some:

Although there were some twists and turns along the way, what started out as a list of about 70 cities, was eventually reduced to 23 and is now 22. Three of these cities are in Canada (Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver), three of them are in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey) and the other 16 are in the United States. Joining Seattle are Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington DC/Baltimore.

Montreal was originally one of the Canadian cities listed and was eventually replaced by Vancouver, which was only officially added recently. Washington, D.C. and Baltimore were originally bidding separately but were merged after FedEx Field was deemed insufficient. If that bid is successful, the games will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore while fan activities will likely be in the capital.

I have always thought that a second city in the Pacific Northwest would be a good thing and recent reports by Grant and Lo do support that idea. Logistically speaking, it makes sense because each team will only play two matches in the group stage and never have to travel very far. Modernization: Edmonton seems to be out of the race, which makes Vancouver a great business. The latest reports indicate that they will have six matches.

Basically, every list created by anyone seriously pursuing this stuff has featured Seattle as a potential host. This is still FIFA, so anything is possible, but it will be considered a huge surprise if Seattle is not selected.

The biggest is our football culture. One only needs to look at the CONCACAF Champions League final as a guide. Nearly 69,000 people took part in that match on Wednesday night, easily setting a tournament record. And it’s not just fans. When Seattle hosted the World Cup delegates earlier this year, dozens of reporters were on hand. Almost every radio and TV station in the area, not to mention sites like ours, understand the importance of the World Cup. If any city is expected to draw fans and media attention to Denmark and Tunisia (to pick a random match out of the upcoming World Cup), it’s Seattle.

Furthermore, we have a lot of strong tourism infrastructures (there are approximately 50,000 hotel rooms in the area, with about 15,000 within walking distance of Lumen Field); rapidly expanding public transit (you’ll be able to ride the light rail north to Lynnwood, south to Federal Way and east to Redmond by then); and abundant training facilities (the Sounders are just opening their new headquarters in Longacres and there are already top-tier locations like the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Starfire, University of Washington and University of Seattle).

In recent tournaments, FIFA has usually chosen 8-12 cities, depending on a variety of factors (although 20 cities were selected when South Korea and Japan co-hosted in 2002). But that was also before they expanded the field to 48 teams, which will be the case in 2026. That could leave us with 14-20 host cities, with 8-14 of those in the US. It would make sense to have 16 cities for 16 groups.

There will be 48 teams divided into 16 groups of three teams. Teams will play only two matches in the group stage with the top two teams from each group advancing to the round of 32. The total number of matches played increases from 64 to 80, but the finalists will still play only seven matches over the course of 32 days, as it is now.

The minimum is probably four, with as many as three in the group stage and as few as one in the knockout stage. Most observers seem to think that Seattle will likely be on track to host matches late in the quarter-finals, but perhaps not then.

You may have heard that FIFA demands that every game be played on grass and that Seattle certainly does not have turf. But this is true for two Canadian bids (Vancouver and Edmonton) as well as seven other cities in the United States. The point is that matches are guaranteed to be played in stadiums that usually feature an artificial surface. All potential host stadiums have agreed to install turf for the World Cup. Gillette Stadium only promised to cut down its current stadium to install permanent turf, while others gave FIFA assurances that they would come up with something acceptable. In any case, the Sea 2026 commission doesn’t seem to think this would be a problem.

Lumen Field is a bit older and smaller than many other running fields. It’s also possible that Seattle city officials aren’t willing to grant the same kind of “tax credits” as others. Regardless, I’m honestly not sure what I don’t like.

There will be a lot of people here, which will definitely lead to some crowding that we are not always used to. And these people can stay here for the better part of the month. I imagine it would be a bad time to urge out-of-town guests to stay in hotels or rentals. Lines at local coffee shops will likely be longer and reservations at your favorite restaurant will likely be stricter. There is also a good chance that we will see an increased police presence, which could lead to some spillovers such as homeless sweeps or the enforcement of ‘small’ crimes. If you’re interested in some of those unintended consequences that may be unintended, this story is really worth reading, even if it’s only meant to raise awareness. I don’t want to go into the good or bad nature of those things, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that some people will be negatively affected.

On top of everything, just dealing with FIFA isn’t great. This organization is notoriously problematic, and one of the reasons many cities have withdrawn from attention has been just a general aversion to dealing with it.

I was a little surprised to discover that there are actually affordable tickets available for this year’s World Cup, under $15 for some group stage matches. I don’t think we’ll be so lucky. When the Central American Cup was played here in 2016, the cheapest tickets were closer to $50 and soared from there. This is the low end of what I was expecting for this event and I wouldn’t be surprised if you would have to buy multi-game packages at a cost similar to what you spend on Sounders season tickets. I hope I’m wrong!

One thing we know will happen if Seattle is chosen as the host is that there will be a fan festival where fans can watch several matches. The plan is for it to be on the renovated waterfront, something that is currently under construction. Regardless, it will likely be a boon for local businesses. It’s not yet clear how Sounders fans will benefit directly, but I hope this facilitates some upgrades to Lumen Field like permanent locker rooms for soccer teams, more digital signage that makes it feel like a home stadium for non-Sehawks tenants, and maybe that turf field will also . A boy can dream!

I won’t speak for you and I certainly understand the argument against that, but I want matches. My thinking is that if you’re going to watch the games anyway, you can also make it somewhere where you can enjoy some real benefits as well. I’ve been in love with Seattle since I moved here in 2009 and I’m really excited to share it with the world. Even if I didn’t cover the games as a journalist, I think I’d come enthusiastically as a fan and actually fantasize about random afternoons with my wife and daughters at Fan Fest.

there! The LOC hosts a range of viewing parties in bars and restaurants throughout the area. In Seattle, they will be at George & Dragon in Fremont, Atlantic Crossing in Roosevelt, Taste of the Caribbean in First Hill and Flatstick Pub in South Lake Union. If Seattle is chosen, there is a good chance there will be an even bigger celebration.

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