With 158 days to go until the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, global soccer’s governing body, FIFA, has named the 16 cities that will host the World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
In the U.S. Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and New York/New Jersey will host a total of 60 games. Canadian cities Vancouver and Toronto will combine with Mexican hosts in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City to put on the remaining 20 games.
FIFA received applications from 45 cities from the host countries—the first time the tournament will be played simultaneously in three nations—and narrowed the list down to 23 during the review process.
A total of 80 matches will take place in total and three matches could be played on the same day, one each in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Hosts anticipate selling 5.8 million tickets, a record in the 92-year history of the tournament.
The overall net benefit of hosting the tournament after expenses will be anywhere from $90 million to $480 million per city, according to a study by U.S. Soccer and BCG published back in 2018.
“By 2026, soccer, or football will be the No. 1 sport on this side of the world,” said Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, following the announcement.
The tri-national World Cup will be the largest in the competition’s history. Korea and Japan co-hosted the month-long tournament in 2002. The 23rd edition in North America will also feature an expanded 48-team format, up from 32. Teams will be divided into 16 groups of three, with the best two teams advancing to the knockout stage.
This is the second time the U.S. is hosting the tournament and organizers, as well as Infantino, believe it will “ignite the growth of soccer in the United States.” According to the bid book submitted by the organizers, the U.S. is the only remaining major developed nation where football is not the dominant sport.
To put that in perspective, Infantino added: “The 2026 World Cup will have 80 Super Bowls.”