Feb 5, 2024 - Sports

Philly's 2026 World Cup schedule is set

A soccer ball with a Liberty Bell icon

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Philadelphia will host six matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the world's governing soccer body revealed Sunday.

Why it matters: The local World Cup matches will be among the largest events in city history, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions in tourist dollars.

Driving the news: Lincoln Financial Field in South Philly will host matches in the group stage and Round of 16.

  • The group matches are June 14, 19, 22, 25 and 27.
  • The Round of 16 match is July 4.

Between the lines: Philly was never in the running to host the opening, semifinal or final matches due to FIFA's stadium capacity requirements.

  • The Linc's stadium capacity is 62,000 for soccer matches, below the 80,000 required for those high-profile matches.

The big picture: The 2026 World Cup will take place in cities throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

  • The tournament will mark the first expansion of the men's World Cup from 32 teams to 48 with 104 matches over 39 days.
  • The opening match will be played in Mexico City's Estadio Azteca on June 11, while MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will host the final.

Zoom out: Philly's 2026 calendar is packed.

Zoom in: With the match days set, city organizers can now better plan for what the World Cup will look like here, Meg Kane, host-city executive for Philadelphia Soccer 2026, tells Axios.

  • That includes logistics around public safety, transportation and fan experiences.

The intrigue: The World Cup matches could prove a bigger boon to the city's economy than previously estimated.

  • They're estimated to have a $460 million economic impact, drawing around 450,000 attendees, per Philadelphia Soccer 2026.
  • Those numbers could end up being even higher, as the initial figures are from 2020 and before FIFA increased the number of participating teams.

What they're saying: "This is a once-in-generation opportunity," Kane says.

  • "The entire globe is going to be watching these matches and to have the eyes of the world on Philadelphia … an opportunity that Philadelphia has to seize," she says.

What we're watching: The city's World Cup organizing group will release a new economic impact study this year, Kane says.

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