Seattle will find out if it has been selected to be one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup on June 16, FIFA announced on Friday. There are currently 22 cities still under consideration, with 16 of them in the United States. FIFA is expected to pick 8-12 U.S. cities to play host to the 48-team tournament, with the 4-6 more cities selected between Mexico and Canada.
Vancouver, B.C. was recently officially added to the list of cities under consideration, while Washington, DC and Baltimore combined their bids. The current cities under consideration are Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington, DC/Baltimore.
Seattle has long been considered one of the favorites to be awarded hosting rights, but has not been prominently mentioned among the cities expected to get later-round knockout games. In addition to having a robust soccer-loving community, Seattle’s bid is bolstered by ample training facilities — which will include the Sounders’ new headquarters at Longacres — and hotel space. The one oft-cited knock against Lumen Field is the artificial playing surface, but bid organizers have insisted that there will be a suitable solution to having a grass field installed and that same issue affects many of the remaining cities.
Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey has suggested that the recently played Concacaf Champions League final would be a final showcase event for Seattle. Nearly 69,000 people packed into Lumen Field to watch the Sounders beat Pumas UNAM.