USA-Canada-Mexico to host 2026 FIFA World Cup

Submitted by Gentleman Squirrels on June 13th, 2018 at 11:18 AM

The joint bid of USA, Canada, and Mexico was accepted today and they will be officially hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This will also be the first time that there will be 48 teams in the tournament. There are scheduled to be 80 games played, with 60 happening in the US (especially all games quarter final onwards). The final will also take place in the US at Metlife Stadium (Giants and Jets home stadium) in New Jersey.

Other US venues:

  • Rose Bowl (LA)
  • Fedex Field (DC)
  • AT&T Stadium (Dallas)
  • Arrowhead Stadium (KC)
  • Sports Authority Field (Denver)
  • NRG Stadium (Houston)
  • M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)
  • Lincoln Financial Field (Philly)
  • Nissan Stadium (Nashville)
  • Century Link Field (Seattle)
  • Levi's Stadium (San Fran)
  • Gillette Stadium (Boston)
  • Paul Brown Stadium (Cincy)
  • Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)
  • Camping World Stadium (Orlando)



June 13th, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

As incomprehensible and unlikely as it was to miss out this year, it would unfathomable to miss out on a 48 team tournament if required to qualify.  The expanded format alone would give the US about 99.7% chance of making it even with a team equal to the 2017-18 version. Still, let's have a better team and make some noise.

The auto-bid would really only matter for Canada so that's basically the decision: do we give Canada an auto-bid or not?  With 48 teams, I can't imagine they wouldn't.

The question is, do the auto-bids come out of the regional federation's allotment? i.e. would it come out of CONCACAF's allotment of teams?


June 13th, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

Sort of odd that they announced each specific stadium 8 years out. I assume if any location builds a new stadium they have the option to play there instead. 


June 13th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

The 16 final stadiums aren't official yet.  The bid included 23 possibilities which will be narrowed down to the final 16 in a couple years.  I'm not sure if there is wiggle room to add/switch out a stadium but seems like there might be since the sites aren't set is stone yet. 

Like if LA wanted to use the new football stadium that is under construction instead of the Rose Bowl, I wonder if that is a possibility.


June 13th, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

While I'm not sure I like expansion in general, I like the new format with three team groups.

Cuts down on a some of the meaningless/dead-team-walking games that are played in the current third round of the group stage. 

Just two group stage games. If you lose your first, you can still advance by winning your second and that's it.  Lose two and you're done.  Currently, if you lose your first two, you're out with like 95 percent certainty, but you still play another match which is unnecessary.


June 13th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

The question is going to come with some of the venues listed above how they are going to make grass work in their stadiums.  So far, it’s always been a challenge to have a decent pitch for the games when playing indoors.  No one who was around for the Silverdome fiasco in 1994 wants a repeat of the horrible conditions.


June 13th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

It's not that much of a question anymore. Things have come a long way from the Silverdome, and there are a number of domed or periodically domed stadiums that support live grass.

There are, for example, modular systems where the fields are permanently kept in trays and moved as necessary. Virginia Tech uses this kind of system, and there was a healthy debate here last year about whether or not such a system could work in Michigan Stadium. Adapting that to a dome venue like Atlanta would be no problem at all. 


June 13th, 2018 at 2:07 PM ^

They did this for Levi Stadium,  They grow in trays and move to stadium before season starts. The grass they picked didn't get good rooting, so lots of huge divots come up during play. It was still a problem last year at times too.  Plus its hot as hell in that stadium even into October.  If the games are not in the evening, its not going to be enjoyable.  Can't imagine what it might be like in 2026 if global warming continues.


June 13th, 2018 at 11:36 AM ^

After all that, obvious choice is obvious. No country in the world is better equipped to host this kind of event than the US, and it's not close. 

The venues have not been determined yet; the list will eventually be cut down to 10 US venues.

There are some obvious ones in there, but also some bizarre absences. Those absences appear to be attributable to FIFA silliness, naturally, but it's still weird that Chicago isn't even a candidate. The entire swatch of the upper midwest (that is, most of us) is basically out of luck regarding local venues. 

No-brainers here include Pasadena, Santa Clara, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, and Miami. I would call Cincy crazy, except that it's the closest venue to the entire Great Lakes region. I hope they don't just give the bids to all of the Acela corridor stadiums. 


June 13th, 2018 at 11:59 AM ^

Is it just me, or does it seem really bad form to funnel the world into New friggen Jersey for the finals?  I mean, New Jersey!  Of all the fantastic sites you could hold such a grand, world-wide stage on, they chose fucking New Jersey - the least attractive option in the entire country!

Hopefully, it's not too late...


June 13th, 2018 at 12:54 PM ^

So I guess you were upset when France 1998 held their final in Saint-Denis as opposed to Paris?

The Meadowlands in NJ is roughly 3 miles from the west side of Manhattan. The final is going to be held in metropolitan NYC.

For those who aren't aware Saint-Denis is a northern suburb of Paris where the 1998 Final was held in the Stade de France.


June 13th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

In fairness, Saint-Denis is barely outside of Paris and the Stade de France is a stop in the Paris metro system. If you're staying in Paris, it's no more difficult to get to the match than to get to the Eiffel Tower. You don't get the same connectedness with the Meadowlands and NYC.


June 13th, 2018 at 5:46 PM ^

My point was, there's a bigger difference between NYC and the Meadowlands versus Paris and Saint-Denis. To a visitor, Saint-Denis feels like it's practically another part of Paris, making the match feel like it's in Paris; whereas the Meadowlands are completely separate from NYC, making the match feel like it's outside of NYC. In that way, New Jersey will likely get more of the focus than Saint-Denis did in 1998.


June 13th, 2018 at 11:29 PM ^

We're talking semantics here. The Meadowlands isn't the greatest place in the world, but it is by any definition a close suburb of NYC. If the game were in CitiField, for instance, would that feel like NYC to you? What if the game were held at Wien Stadium at the tip of Manhattan? Neither of those have a "Manhattan / NYC" feel to them.


June 13th, 2018 at 1:59 PM ^

Metlife Stadium by itself is a great venue for something like the WC Final.  The problem is getting there and back.  In 2014 when they held the Super Bowl, they only gave out parking passes for something like 1/4 of the normal amount for an NFL game day, citing security concerns.  They tried to pan it off as the first mass transit superbowl as people could ride the train in.  It wound up being a total disaster as people were stuck waiting hours before and after the game trying to catch the one train line that goes to Metlife.





June 13th, 2018 at 2:03 PM ^

Have you seen the format for this shit? What a disaster waiting to unfold. 16 groups of 3 teams each. Top 2 advance creating a 32 team knockout bracket.

So in the first stage, some teams will have knowledge of exactly the results they need in order to advance (2 games can't be played at the same time in the last group games with only 3 teams). This harkens back to the Germany-Austria fiasco in 1982 that completely fucked an Algeria team that had upset Germany earlier in the tournament. 

And if any sport needs less knockout tournament games it is most certainly soccer where the low-scoring tends to increase the flukiness of any individual game.

32 teams in groups of 4. Top 2 advance. Regroup the advancers into 4 groups of 4. Top team in each group advances to the semifinals. You can design it where it only adds a couple of days to the current format. This isn't that fucking hard.


June 13th, 2018 at 3:42 PM ^

I commented on this above but it's possible (likely?) the three team group is an improvement over the current four team group with top two advancing which easily leads to games in which a team that has already clinched the group rests guys in the third game and potentially screws over a team that was counting on them to beat an opponent that they would have if at full strength.  I'm too lazy to go back and look for scenarios in which this screwed a team over, but it's a possibility every event.

With only three teams, and two games, it is far more difficult to clinch a top 2 spot or be eliminated before your last game.  So if you win your first game, you still have to get a result to ensure you're in and if you lose your first game, you still have a chance in your second game almost no matter what.  In every case that the team that doesn't play last is at risk of being screwed over, it's because they would be far behind in goal differential, which like, don't lose by so much.

I'm not that familiar with the Austria-West Germany situation but it is surprising that Austria were content to take a loss by one goal in that game considering they could have won the group with a draw and then had a better seed for the knockout round AND even if they gave up another goal, they still would have advanced. There was no need to go into clock kill mode down 1-0 instead of trying to tie it up.  There had to be explicit collusion there with Austria agreeing to do something that wasn't even good for them and that could happen no matter what the format.

Two things I do dislike though: putting every group stage game into a shootout.  No reason to do it and does incentivize inferior teams to stay back and get to the coin flip shootout.

A 32-team knockout stage.  Too many.

Will be interesting to see what happens but I think 3 team group is an improvement over 4 teams.


June 13th, 2018 at 7:18 PM ^

I'm not arguing that. That's completely true. But there won't be many cases in which both teams don't need a win since you only get two group games.  You can't win your first two and then rest your players to screw a team over, UNLESS you completely dominated a team in your first game such that goal differential doesn't come into play even if you lose your second game. 

And in that case, the team that got dominated shouldn't advance anyway.  You can't get dominated in one of two games and cry about a possibility of getting "screwed".


June 13th, 2018 at 7:44 PM ^

AND ANOTHER THING about the West Germany-Austria game that I just read made it possible for Austria to completely not care about losing that game: there were TWO group stages which is totally stupid.  And the fact that the second group stage had three teams meant that some groups had a group winner and two runners-up.  Guess which group the runner up of the Austria group was predetermined to go to: a group with another runner up.  And guess where the winner went: a group with two winner and only one runner up.  There was literally no reason to care about winning that group or being the runner up which is why Austria didn't care to try to win the group.

Especially with a 32 team knockout round, being a group winner is important because it gets you a top seed.

People worried about a biscotto by citing that 1982 match are ignoring all kinds of relevant context that just won't apply here. Also, Algeria lost to Austria 2-0 so hard to cry about getting screwed there when they needed West Germany to win by 3 (!!) goals.