1. All but one U.S. stadium has a capacity of at least 60,000 seats. Only one of the five FIFA-ready stadiums in Morocco, the sole 2026 big competitor, has a capacity of even 50,000: Rabat's Stade Prince Moulay Abdellah (52,000 seats).
2. All but three current NFL stadiums are on the list. The exceptions: New Era Field (Buffalo Bills), Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Raiders) and StubHub Center (temporary home of the Chargers).
3. Almost almost the stadiums are soccer-friendly. Not without some difficulties -- artificial turf or narrow dimensions -- almost all the stadiums the USA is considering now have a history of welcoming big soccer matches: Gold Cup, International Champions Cup or international friendlies. Just three stadiums -- all shared with NFL teams -- are or will be the home to MLS teams: Boston's Gillette Stadium, Seattle's CenturyLink Field and Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
4. Will domed stadiums help or hurt? Detroit's Silverdome was a novelty in 1994 -- the first domed stadium used at a World Cup -- but eight NFL stadiums with domes or retractable roofs were on today's list for 2026. All but the University of Phoenix Stadium currently has some kind of artificial surface. As FIFA and local organizers deal with the issue of summer heat -- Qatar 2022 was moved to November-December -- these stadiums with domes or retractable roofs might become attractive.
5. World Cup 2022 bid serves as guidance. In 2010, the USA submitted a list of 18 cities representing 20 stadiums. From that list, only Seattle's Husky Stadium and Atlanta's Georgia Dome aren't on the initial list for the 2026 bid. A list of 18 U.S. cities would seem to a good target for the 2026 bid, to go along with three Mexican cities and probably four Canadian cities. The competition in 2010 was such that Chicago's Soldier Field didn't even make the final cut.
6. A lot has changed since 2010. Levi's Stadium, host of the 2017 Gold Cup final, opened in 2014, Minnesota's U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta will open in the fall, and new NFL stadiums are being built in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
7. Key number is 12. In 1994, just nine venues were used for the World Cup, then a 24-team tournament. At least 12 venues are proposed to be used -- perhaps as many as 15? -- in 2026 for what will be the first 48-team tournament.
8. Bid committee has lots of leverage. Hosting a World Cup requires stadium operators to agree to lots of restrictions and inconveniences, but there's such competition that the bid committee will have lots of leverage in exacting the terms it -- and FIFA -- will demand. In Los Angeles alone, there's the Rose Bowl, host of the 1994 World Cup final, the Coliseum, home to USC, and the LA Stadium at Hollywood Park, which is being built for the NFL Rams and Chargers and slated to open in 2020.
USA (34 cities, 37 stadiums)
CITY STADIUM CAPACITY
*Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium (NFL future) 75,000
Baltimore, MD M&T Bank Stadium (NFL) 71,008
Birmingham, AL Legion Field 71,594
Boston, MA (Foxborough) Gillette Stadium (NFL) 65,892
Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium (NFL) 75,400
Chicago, IL Soldier Field (NFL) 61,500
Cincinnati, OH Paul Brown Stadium (NFL) 65,515
Cleveland, OH FirstEnergy Stadium (NFL) 68,710
Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl 92,100
Dallas, TX (Arlington) AT&T Stadium (NFL) 105,000
Denver, CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High (NFL) 76,125
Detroit, MI Ford Field (NFL) 65,000
Green Bay, WI Lambeau Field (NFL) 81,441
Houston, TX NRG Stadium (NFL) 71,500
Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium (NFL) 65,700
Jacksonville, FL EverBank Field (NFL) 64,000
Kansas City, MO Arrowhead Stadium (NFL) 76,416
*Las Vegas, NV Raiders Stadium (NFL future) 72,000
Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (NFL) 78,500
*Los Angeles, CA (Inglewood) LA Stadium at Hollywood Park (NFL future) TBD
Los Angeles, CA (Pasadena) Rose Bowl 87,527
Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium (NFL) 65,767
Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium (NFL) 63,000
Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium (NFL) 69,143
New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome (NFL) 72,000
New York/New Jersey (East Rutherford, NJ) MetLife Stadium (NFL) 82,500
Orlando, FL Camping World Stadium 65,000
Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field (NFL) 69,328
Phoenix, AZ (Glendale, AZ) University of Phoenix Stadium (NFL) 73,000
Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field (NFL) 68,400
Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium 45,807
San Antonio, TX Alamodome 72,000
San Diego, CA Qualcomm Stadium 71,500
San Francisco/San Jose, CA (Santa Clara) Levi's Stadium (NFL) 75,000
Seattle, WA CenturyLink Field (NFL) 69,000
Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium (NFL) 73,309
Washington, DC (Landover, MD) FedEx Field (NFL) 82,000
*Not yet open.