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Breaking: Philadelphia to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

Photo: Peter Andrews

The brightest lights in the world of soccer are coming to Philadelphia.

FIFA announced this afternoon that Philadelphia is one of sixteen cities chosen across the United States, Mexico, and Canada to host matches for the 2026 men’s World Cup.

It will be the first time that this tournament has made its way to the City of Brotherly Love, and coincides with the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

The announcement was met by raucous celebrations at a pep rally at LOVE Park in Center City, organized by the bid committee. Union captain Alejandro Bedoya was among the speakers prior to the announcement.

In typical FIFA fashion, the announcement show started late and dragged long, and the crowd grew restless from the artificial delay. It was no sure thing that Philly would be chosen, and as cities were announced from west to east, the somewhat surprising choices of Kansas City and Boston caused some anxiety in the crowd.

But when the moment came, all the tension melted away.


Matches will be played at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. How many matches, and which ones? That’s yet to be decided.

The news will be a massive boost to the region’s soccer community, which went all-out in an attempt to win the bid. Thursday’s announcement is the culmination of a years-long effort, and there are plenty of people around town rightfully celebrating this evening.

Philadelphia joins Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle as the U.S.’s host cities. Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey are the Mexican hosts, while Canadian cities Toronto and Vancouver round out the group.

Between them, the cities will host 80 matches, as 2026 will be the first World Cup final with 48 competing nations.

The bidding cities not selected were Baltimore/D.C., Cincinnati, Denver, Edmonton, Nashville, and Orlando.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 21 and runs through the final on December 18, while the women’s World Cup runs in July and August next year in Australia and New Zealand.

After that?

All eyes will turn to North America — and Philadelphia — for an unforgettable month of soccer in June 2026.

25 Comments

  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Excellent news! Crazy DC didn’t get it but it makes sense, since their stadium is garbage. Also wild that Chicago is out but I never really heard their name. Did they even make a bid? Either way / should be awesome.

    • Union fan says:

      Chicago didn’t bid, I think because they didn’t like FIFA’s demands- but not sure about that. I was glad DC didn’t get it- I thought it should be a one city bid, you don’t have a suitable stadium, then no piggy-backing with another city and it should be held against you. Looks like it was. In fact, I would have liked to see all new cities from those who hosted in ‘94 but that was never happening with New York and LA. They did switch out 4 cities that hosted in ‘94- Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, and Denver so that’s pretty good rotation. Would have preferred Nashville over Boston (a ‘94 host) but Nashville’s stadium plans messed them up.

    • Tim Jones says:

      The owner of the the Washington NFL franchise is also rated informally as highly toxic. If he and the head of Concacaf, the former head of Canada soccer Montagliani (sp?) have a history that would not have helped DC. I have no evidence, only probability since Snyder alienates everybody.
      .
      Kraft was honorary chair of the US part of the bid, or some other such deferential gesture so Boston was going to get in, and remember that in 94 they built a temporary grass field on top of the turf., the way they will do again in North Jersey as well.
      .

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I saw someone tweet – how bad must Dan Snyder be that even FIFA doesn’t want to do business with him. Haha. An excellent take

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    Congrats to Philly….
    .
    …when Copa Centenario came in 2016… I got a three game package with three seats to 3 games which included watching the US.
    .
    It cost me $600 total.
    .
    I am very concerned… like so much of stuff in general anymore, the every day family with kids will get priced right out of the moneygrab. I hope not. But my faith in most things is unsteady at the moment.

    • Another reason to be grateful for Union being a family-friendly, reasonably valued, great quality professional soccer option!

    • The Union Jack says:

      Sorry Pach, but this is FIFA, its always a money grab.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I don’t know what pricing will be but hopefully FIFA will set it lower than U.S. Soccer does which is pretty much a complete rip off. Hopefully Union season ticket holders will get a presale to get reasonably priced seats, although I’m still not sure I want to watch games at the Linc after being used to Subaru Park. I did go to the doubleheader at the Linc for the ’03 Women’s World Cup and that was fun but also a hell of a lot less crowded than I expect a men’s cup game to be.

      • I highly doubt that FIFA will set prices lower than U.S. Soccer because, as a previous commenter mentioned, it’s a money grab. Also, I see no chance of Union season ticket holders getting a presale because … as I said, it’s a money grab and FIFA doesn’t care one iota about Union season ticket holders.

    • FIFA doesn’t care about families with kids not being able to afford tickets.

    • I tried to get tix to this year’s cup in Qatar. Usa/Iran group stage match. Cheap seats were $250 per. For residents of Qatar, seats were heavily discounted ($40 per). Hopefully, the host country discount is in place in 2026. My gut tells me it probably won’t be. I had to enter a random drawing during phase 2 ticket window, for the possibility of purchasing tickets. I must not have been worthy as I received my rejection notice 2 weeks ago.

      • Qatar’s population (according to Google) is 2.8 million. It’s one thing to have a host country discount for a place with the population of Qatar, but it’s another for a country the size of the U.S. Also, my guess is most of the fans attending the World Cup in 2026 will be U.S. residents.

      • I lucked out and got 2 tickets for USA / Iran. 2 tickets were $330. Not $500. Still not cheap. But significantly less than what you quoted.

  3. I highly doubt that FIFA will set prices lower than U.S. Soccer because, as a previous commenter mentioned, it’s a money grab. Also, I see no chance of Union season ticket holders getting a presale because … as I said, it’s a money grab and FIFA doesn’t care one iota about Union season ticket holders.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah agreed. This is all about that dollar and FIFA knows full well every seat in every stadium will be bought and paid for. They don’t give a rats ass who is in them as long as the money is green

  4. Ecstatic that it is coming to Philly!
    So do we expect them to lay a grass field over the turf?
    Do they just schedule away games for Phillies during the time the turf is covered?
    No experience with this so no idea how it works.

    • The Linc is grass. Some other venues will put grass down over the carpets. Phillies play in a different stadium but they would probably request away games during part of the World Cup period just to avoid the congestion.

      • DUH – my bad! I read Linc and thought CBP.

        Wonder if they will find a way to widen the field for soccer?

      • wbev – The Linc’s grass area is wide enough for soccer. Lots of international matches have been played there over the years. (Incidentally, SoFi Stadium — the new building in LA — is not wide enough for soccer, so we’ll see how FIFA solves that problem…)

  5. great for philly!

    miami is a stupid part of all of this, though.

    but let’s raise a glass!

  6. I was a little surprised that stadiums with artificial turf were acceptable to FIFA for the World Cup. I did read though that turf pitches are not unprecedented in Europe…

    • Andy Muenz says:

      In ’94 they put grass on top of the turf where necessary.

      • And there’s already been reporting from Atlanta that grass will be installed beginning in Feb. ’26 at that stadium, returning to turf after the WC. I would suspect similar arrangements will be in place at the other venues. (As it should have been done for the WWC in Canada in 2015.)

  7. Christian says:

    Philly is one of the few stadiums in the whole thing where the stadium is actually in the city and that it’s easily accessible by several modes of transportation. Have fun being stuck in the parking lot at Gillette or Meadowlands. I know it’s not set in stone but the two suggested fan fest zones in the bid book was Fairmont Park and Penn’s Landing. Going to be a hell of a summer!

  8. Scott of Nazareth says:

    I think the Final is always scheduled on a Sunday.

    July 4th, 2026 is a Saturday…

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