The World Cup 2026 came down to bids from Morocco and North America. There was skepticism that the United States would be able to win the bid for a few reasons. North America’s bid received a much higher grade than Morocco, so why would it not win? The short answer is a lower grade typically means more stadiums have to be built, and more new stadiums lead to more money for FIFA.
According to FIFA, North America’s bid scored higher than Morocco in every major category except organizing costs. On a scale based on 1 to 5, the North American bid was given a 4.0, while Morocco scored a 2.7. The United States bid earned high marks in stadiums (4.1), transportation (4.3), media/marketing (4.9) and ticketing/hospitality (5.0).
The 23 cities that were finalists for FIFA to choose included three in Canada, three in Mexico and 17 in the United States. According to the MLS, up to 16 of these finalists could host a World Cup match. Here’s the full list of cities that were in contention courtesy of the MLS.
|Atlanta, Georgia||United States|
|Baltimore, Maryland||United States|
|Boston, Massachusetts||United States|
|Cincinnati, Ohio||United States|
|Dallas, Texas||United States|
|Denver, Colorado||United States|
|Houston, Texas||United States|
|Kansas City, Missouri||United States|
|Los Angeles, California||United States|
|Miami, Florida||United States|
|Nashville, Tennesssee||United States|
|New York/New Jersey||United States|
|Orlando, Florida||United States|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||United States|
|San Francisco, California||United States|
|Seattle, Washington||United States|
|Washington, D.C.||United States|
While FIFA could pick any of the 23 cities, 10 cities were highlighted in North America’s proposal. Los Angeles, Mexico City and New York/New Jersey were listed as potential choices for the opening match. Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Washington D.C. were highlighted for the semi-finals. Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York/New Jersey were the favorites for the final.
How did FIFA decide between the North American and Morocco bids? There was a public vote of the FIFA member nations as ESPN detailed.
On Wednesday, every FIFA member nation will get to vote, with the exception of the four bidding nations. Instead of 24 voters, we’ll have 207. Or possibly 203, if the four U.S. territories — Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands — who have their own FAs — are barred from voting, as Morocco has requested.
The last time the United States hosted a World Cup was in 1994, and many believe the 1994 tournament played a big role in increasing the popularity of soccer in America.
Source: Heavy Sports