Los Angeles makes list of potential 2026 World Cup venues

Pasadena's Rose Bowl was the site of the World Cup final in 1994.
Pasadena’s Rose Bowl was the site of the World Cup final in 1994.
(Paul Morse / For The Times)

Los Angeles was among 25 U.S. cities selected Wednesday as possible host sites for the 2026 World Cup.

The soccer federations of the U.S., Mexico and Canada have joined forces to present a united bid to stage soccer’s world championship in the three North American countries, the first time a three-nation bid has been considered by FIFA, the governing body for international soccer.

Morocco is the only other country to have submitted a bid. The winner is expected to be announced in June 2018.


Southern California sites that have received consideration include the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where the 1994 World Cup final was played; the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which has played host to two Olympics; and the football stadium under construction in Inglewood.

During the next stage of the bid process, the United Bid Committee will integrate the 32 potential North American host cities — 25 from the U.S., four from Canada and three from Mexico — into a bid strategy while working with local officials to finalize the hosting documents required by FIFA. Representatives from the 32 potential host cities will travel to Houston during the week of Nov. 13 for a working session with the United Bid Committee.

The final list of host cities is not expected to exceed 12.

“We have more than double the number of cities required to stage matches in 2026,” United Bid Chairman Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, said in a statement. “We have a vision for growing the game and engaging fans as never before. Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to honor the enthusiasm of all the people across Canada, Mexico and the United States through the development of our united hosting concept.”

The selection process takes into account factors such as city profile, stadium and support facilities and services such as transportation. In addition, each of the 32 potential host cities features existing or already planned stadiums and other world-class infrastructure that meet or exceed FIFA requirements.

The list of potential host cities reflects the geographic and cultural diversity of North America.

The 2026 World Cup, which would be the first to be held on this continent since 1994, will also be the largest tournament ever with 48 nations participating.

The finalists:

Canada (4): Edmonton; Montreal; Toronto; Vancouver.

Mexico (3): Guadalajara; Mexico City; Monterrey.

U.S. (25): Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville; New York/New Jersey; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; Washington, D.C.

Seven U.S. cities were not selected for consideration as host city candidates by the United Bid Committee: Birmingham, Ala.; Cleveland; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; and San Antonio.