Report: Selection process for 2026 World Cup U.S. venues outlined

Yahoo Sports reported that the 17 cities on the shortlist for the 10 U.S. venues seeking to host matches at the 2026 World Cup co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico have been given the outline of the selection process in a letter from U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro.

Among the key points:

-- Former U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn, a 1994 World Cup venue officer in Chicago, will lead the process.
-- A workshop outlining the process and criteria will be held in February.
-- An inspection team will visit the stadiums twice in 2020 from March to November.
-- FIFA has the final say in the venue choices, which will be made in 2021.

A total of 16 cities are expected to be selected as World Cup 2026 venues. The expected breakdown is three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto), three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey) and 10 in the United States.

The 17 U.S. cities in the mix:

Northeast:
Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium)
Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA)
New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ)
Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
Washington, D.C. (FedExField in Landover, MD)
South:
Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
Miami (Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL)
Orlando (Camping World Stadium)
Nashville (Nissan Stadium)
Midwest:
Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium)
Denver (Empower Field at Mile High)
Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium)
Southwest:
Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX)
Houston (HRG Stadium)
West:
Los Angeles (Rose Bowl in Pasadena and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA)
San Francisco (Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA)
Seattle (CenturyLink Field)

18 comments about "Report: Selection process for 2026 World Cup U.S. venues outlined".
  1. R2 Dad, January 13, 2020 at 11:17 a.m.

    Artificial turf, or "temporary" grass, should not be allowed. How many of these fields are artificial turf? Most? All? It might be OK for American football but should not be allowed for hosting a World Cup (mens nor womens).

  2. :: SilverRey :: replied, January 13, 2020 at 1:31 p.m.

    REAL GRASS FIELDS ONLY!!!
    No indoor arenas, no sod on turf - just as nobody likes plasitc fans, nobody likes plastic fields.
    KEEP IT REAL USSOCCER! Honor the game as it was meant to be played.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, January 13, 2020 at 3:40 p.m.

    In the past for the men's matches, real grass turf has been placed over the synthetic grass. Are you saying that this practice is no longer acceptable?

  4. R2 Dad replied, January 13, 2020 at 6:24 p.m.

    Bob, just because we've done it before doesn't make it a good idea:
    https://ussoccerplayers.com/2015/04/usmnt-on-temporary-grass-short-term-memories-permanent-problem.html
    The USMNT seem to think so as well:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-mens-soccer-players-oppose-play-on-temporary-grass-11555668000

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, January 13, 2020 at 6:41 p.m.

    I agree with the article that "temporary" sod is "not ideal". I also agree with the article that it can be done right if competition managers don't cut costs. 

    Where I disagree with the article is their view that synthetic turf is merely "imperfect" while temporary sod is "dangerous". In my view synthetic turf has risks of injury and infection while it offers inferior play to grass. It also offers inferior development for youth players. Uneven surfaces add a whole extra dimension to training ball skills. Players cannot learn to make quick and flat passes to feet by rolling the ball on the ground.

  6. Chris Mccaffrey, January 13, 2020 at 1:10 p.m.

    What.......No Chicago!!!!
    Is this rigged?  Someone needs to explain this thoroughly. 
    I'm at a loss for words on this one. 

  7. Greg Ruark replied, January 13, 2020 at 1:27 p.m.

    It's my understanding Chicago did not submit a hosting bid when the process began. 
    Can someone confirm?

  8. Benjamin Nicoara replied, January 13, 2020 at 1:52 p.m.

    i remember reading that chicago withdrew their bid.

  9. Victor Mathseon replied, January 13, 2020 at 2:01 p.m.

    That is correct. Chicago decided not to submit a World Cup bid. 

    Any bets to the finalists?

    My guesses: Seattle, SF, LA, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, DC, NY, Boston based on stadiums, geography and historical fan support.

    Maybe replace Houston with Miami. Leaves the center of the country fairly bare, but you do have Toronto close and Chicago not bidding just leaves a hole no matter what. 

  10. Victor Mathseon replied, January 13, 2020 at 2:01 p.m.

    That is correct. Chicago decided not to submit a World Cup bid. 

    Any bets to the finalists?

    My guesses: Seattle, SF, LA, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, DC, NY, Boston based on stadiums, geography and historical fan support.

    Maybe replace Houston with Miami. Leaves the center of the country fairly bare, but you do have Toronto close and Chicago not bidding just leaves a hole no matter what. 

  11. John Polis, January 13, 2020 at 2:01 p.m.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/ct-spt-chicago-world-cup-bid-20180315-story.html

  12. T michael Flinn, January 13, 2020 at 2:09 p.m.

    Atlanta will bring in real grass.

  13. T michael Flinn, January 13, 2020 at 2:11 p.m.

    If Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts matches at the 2026 World Cup, awarded this year to North America, it will install a temporary grass field. The 2026 bid document budgets $30 million to $40 million for stadium grass installation overall and says: “We have challenged researchers in North America to create a hybrid grass that can be grown and maintained in an indoor facility or other challenging climates.” WSJ 12.7.18

  14. Goal Goal, January 13, 2020 at 3:11 p.m.

    Someone tell them before they print the tickets for Houston that it is not HRG Stadium but NRG Stadium.  Just want to make sure everyone gets there.

  15. Goal Goal, January 13, 2020 at 3:11 p.m.

    Someone tell them before they print the tickets for Houston that it is not HRG Stadium but NRG Stadium.  Just want to make sure everyone gets there.

  16. Eric Jensen, January 13, 2020 at 4:23 p.m.

    What about Las Vegas. We've got a brand new stadium with a grass pitch.

  17. harold kirkwood, January 13, 2020 at 8:19 p.m.

    WHY NOT USE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN STADIUM. 3 GAMES 300,000 + ATTENDEES?

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, January 16, 2020 at 3:39 p.m.

    The stadium is designed for a playing field 53.3 yards wide. The minimum width for international play is 70 yards. The stadium also has artificial turf because a water table problem interferes with real grass. I suppose that all of these problems can be cured with money.

    What can't be cured in practice is the congestion and lack of parking.

    I doubt that the school administration and state government would back the idea.

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