Dallas is the main host city for 2026 FIFA World Cup
The Dallas area will host the most matches of any city during the 2026 FIFA Men's World Cup, holding nine games over the 39-day tournament, organizers announced Sunday.
Why it matters: The 2026 World Cup organized by FIFA — the international governing body of soccer — is poised to be AT&T Stadium's largest event since Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
- Each match is expected to represent one Super Bowl and bring millions of dollars and thousands of temporary jobs to the region, FIFA says.
The big picture: Canada, Mexico and the United States are co-hosting the 104-match tournament across 16 cities.
- "This whole calendar has been designed to make sure that the fans can travel with the teams in a way that's not too burdensome," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said during the announcement.
Details: Arlington's AT&T Stadium will host five group stage matches, two in the round of 32, one in the round of 16 and a semifinal.
- It has the largest capacity of all the 2026 host sites, according to The Athletic.
Of note: The opening World Cup match will be in Mexico City on June 11, 2026, and the first U.S. match will be at SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles area.
- The final will be on July 19 at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.
Between the lines: Local leaders had hoped that AT&T Stadium would be chosen for the final.
- Many news stories leading up to Sunday's announcement had incorrectly speculated that the stadium would host it.
What they're saying: Dallas sports legends Dirk Nowitzki and Emmitt Smith joined North Texas leaders at a news conference at AT&T Stadium following FIFA's announcement.
- "It's a beautiful thing all the way around, even though the disappointment may be there," Smith said of the final. "The nine that we actually have is a beautiful thing that we can build off of."
- He said the matches will help make soccer more accessible to the region's families.
- "I'm excited to show what Dallas and this region is capable of and how nice it is here. People that have never been here will see what a great town this is," Nowitzki said.
The intrigue: Comedian and soccer dad Kevin Hart co-hosted FIFA's announcement livestream Sunday.
- "Dallas. Amazing city," Hart said. "Amazing city and amazing people."
Flashback: The Cotton Bowl hosted six matches in the 1994 World Cup, but soccer was significantly less popular in the U.S. then than today.
What's next: Pre-registration is open for 2026 World Cup tickets.
Meanwhile: This isn't the only international sports tournament coming to the Dallas area.
- Grand Prairie will host four matches, including the opener, for international cricket's T20 Men's World Cup this summer.
- That tournament is also anticipated to bring millions of dollars in revenue to North Texas.
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