May 24, 2022 - Sports

FIFA to soon announce decision on Philly's 2026 World Cup bid

Illustration of a soccer ball on a soccer pitch with a dollar sign line

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We'll soon know whether the World Cup is in Philly's near future.

Driving the news: FIFA recently announced plans to reveal the 2026 World Cup match sites that will stretch across U.S., Mexico and Canada, on June 16.

  • Philly is one of 22 cities across the three countries — 17 in the U.S. — vying to host matches for the 48-team tournament.

The big picture: 2026 will mark the first time the World Cup has three co-hosts and 80 matches, up from 64.

  • Of the matches, 60 will be played in the U.S., while Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each.

By the numbers: Philly could reap a significant economic boost from hosting up to six matches in Lincoln Financial Field, according to a report from Philadelphia Soccer 2026.

  • The matches could generate an estimated $460 million in total economic impact in Philly.
  • An estimated 450,000 total attendees are expected to flock to the city for the event, with visitor spending potentially ranging from $147 million to $262 million.

Between the lines: FIFA is weighing several factors in the selection process, including the host cities' stadiums, sustainability, human rights and general infrastructure, according to the organization.

What they're saying: The host cities will be key to ensuring the success of the World Cup in 2026, Colin Smith, FIFA's chief tournaments and events officer, said in a statement.

  • "We look forward to working with them to deliver what will undoubtedly be the largest FIFA World Cup in history," he added.

Meg Kane, bid coordinator for Philadelphia Soccer 2026, told Axios: "Should Philadelphia be selected, we will be ready to celebrate."

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