North America is being considered as the leading candidate to host the 2026 World Cup, per a report from the Associated Press,
After the 2018 tournament in Russia and the 2022 tournament in Qatar, the United States, Canada and Mexico should all be given a shot. FIFA’s top American official Sunil Gulati was quoted as saying the following:
“We now know some of the rules,” said Gulati, FIFA’s top American official. “We will look at it. We have great relationships with Canada and Mexico. We also have a country with 320 million people that has hosted a World Cup and with a lot of terrific stadiums and great infrastructure.”
To Gulati’s credit, he makes a great point about the stadiums. Because of the NFL’s prominence in the United States, there’s already a plethora of great stadiums that could host a soccer match just as easily as an American football game.
Who wouldn’t want to see a game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta? How about JerryWorld, err… AT&T Stadium in Dallas? What about the new stadium that’s being built in Los Angeles for the Rams? Or MetLife in the greater New York City area?
Heck, why not take a look at having a couple games in baseball stadiums? Why not look at having some in Camden Yards in Baltimore? Why not Fenway Park in Boston? Why not PNC Park in Pittsburgh? Or Wrigley in Chicago?
In fact, there’s so many stadiums in the US that the World Cup committee wouldn’t even have to worry about constructing new stadiums for the tournament the way Qatar currently is. They would even be able to get Canada in on it with the old Olympic Stadium in Montreal or the Rogers Centre in Toronto. And why not get Mexico in on it with Estadio Azteca in Mexico City?
A North American hosting committee of the three countries will be able to present state of the art facilities and a multi-cultural experience for the competing teams.
The bigger question is, what would stop North America from being able to host?