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FIFA will begin touring potential World Cup 2026 venues Sept. 15

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Nine East Coast cities will be toured this month. Seattle will be toured in October or November.

Attendance for Sounders' games at Qwest Field is up more than 18 percent over last year's pace, leading a league-wide attendance bump of 13.6 percent over last year.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Attendance for Sounders’ games at Qwest Field is up more than 18 percent over last year’s pace, leading a league-wide attendance bump of 13.6 percent over last year. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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FIFA will move one step closer to picking the venues for the 2026 World Cup when they begin touring facilities on Sept. 15. There are nine East Coast cities in this first batch, while Seattle will be among remaining venues in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that will be toured sometime later this year or early next year. FIFA will pick the host cities shortly thereafter.

There are currently 22 or 23 cities still in the running to be hosts, with 17 of them in the United States. The three Mexican cities — Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City — are all expected to be chosen as hosts barring some unforeseen issues, as are the remaining Canadian cities of Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto. There’s also the possibility that Vancouver will re-enter the fray.

The intrigue is more with the U.S. part of the bid, where 17 cities are vying for 8-12 spots. Seattle is generally considered one of the favorites to be chosen due to our soccer culture, significant tourist infrastructure and availability of training fields. But the bid will likely be dinged for needing to import temporary grass and potentially for things like the amenities at Lumen Field, which is older than most of the other proposed venues.

2026 U.S. bid cities

Bid cities Type of surface Capacity Year opened
Bid cities Type of surface Capacity Year opened
Atlanta* FieldTurf CORE 73,019 2017
Baltimore Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass 71,008 1998
Bay Area Tifway II Bermuda Grass 68,500 2014
Boston* FieldTurf 65,878 2002
Cincinnati* Shaw Sports Momentum Pro 65,515 2000
Dallas* Hellas Matrix Turf with Helix Soft Top 105,121 2009
Denver Kentucky Bluegrass 76,125 2001
Houston* Hellas Matrix Helix 72,220 2002
Kansas City Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass 76,416 1968
Los Angeles* Matrix Turf 100,240 2020
Miami Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass 64,767 1987
Nashville Tifsport Bermuda Sod 69,143 1999
New York/New Jersey* Fieldturf 82,500 2010
Orlando* AstroTurf RootZone 3D3 65,194 1936**
Philadelphia Bermuda grass 69,796 2003
Seattle* FieldTurf Revolution 360 72,000 2002
Washington, D.C. Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass 82,000 1997**