Tampa an early candidate to host '26 World Cup
The United Bid Committee announced Wednesday that Tampa is among 32 North American cities -- including 25 in the U.S. -- that have made the cut to potentially serve as a 2026 FIFA World Cup host.
If the United Bid (consisting of cities from Canada, Mexico and the U.S.) is selected by FIFA as World Cup host, at least 12 cities will be chosen as venues for games.
“We received applications from 41 cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States and narrowed the list down after a comprehensive review of each of the communities and facilities," John Kristick, executive director of the United Bid Committee, said in a news release.
"The 32 cities that we have identified as potential host cities, on their own and together, are prepared to welcome soccer fans from around the world. They are more than capable of helping fulfill the shared vision and ambition of FIFA, and the United Bid in shaping the future of soccer in North America."
All 32 potential host cities can be found here. Representatives from each city travel to Houston the week of Nov. 13 for a working session with the United Bid Committee team.
Each city features existing or already-planned stadiums and other world-class infrastructure, meeting or exceeding FIFA's requirements.
"Soccer is such a huge part of the fabric of our community, so we're naturally grateful and excited to be chosen to continue on this process as a host city candidate," Tampa Bay Sports Commission executive director Rob Higgins said Wednesday.
"We look forward to working with the United Bid Committee to help position both North America and our hometown for potential success with this monumental opportunity."
Collectively, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have hosted 13 World Cups, five of which set attendance records.