One of the most anticipated sports events in the world is the Men’s World Cup, which is hosted at a different location every four years. It was recently announced that the next location for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup will be at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association, Gianni Infantino, made a public announcement on Thursday that Philadelphia will be one of the 16 different cities in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada that will be hosting the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, allowing American fans to take part in the action as spectators and attend one of the largest events of the decade.
Christian Pulisic, a U.S. national team player, expressed his excitement for the news as a native of Hersey, Pennsylvania. He’s looking forward to the event and the excitement it’ll bring to the local area.
When the news was announced, the energy was palpable at LOVE Park, where a watch party was hosted as fans went wild with excitement over the news. The captain of the Philadelphia Union, Alejandro Bedoya, said that hosting the event will allow Philadelphia to show off its zeal and passion to the world. Already, Philadelphia is known as a city that loves and celebrates soccer, but now thousands of people can see fans in the city show off their excitement and comradery.
Some people in Philadelphia, like Shane Snishioka Healy, believe that even the announcement will allow more people in the city to develop a stronger love of soccer after experiencing the shared excitement throughout the city. He believes that it’ll be an opportunity for residents in Philadelphia to develop a stronger love of different types of sports and will be a memorable event.
Other soccer fans in Philadelphia, like Darrell Redmond, think this is a chance for Philly fans to showcase how rabid they are and will also make the city feel electric as the sporting event takes place. He uses the example of the Super Bowl and how it changes the entire city. Everyone comes together to show their support, making it a fun and exciting time that most residents will never forget.
Philadelphia’s bid effort was started by David Cohen, who has worked as a Comcast executive in the past. He moved on to become a U.S. ambassador before Dan Hilferty filled the position. He considers this to be a shining moment for the city that puts it even more on the map. It gives Philadelphia the chance to impress the rest of the world and show off their city when they’re in the spotlight.
Not only will it bring local Philadelphia residents together to participate in a historic sports event, but it can also significantly boost their tourist industry. There’s a potential of a quarter-billion dollars to be earned with all of the people who travel to the city to watch the event. It’s the opportunity to stimulate the regional economy as people spend money on hotels, transportation, and restaurants. Many city officials assume it has the potential to create 3,500 new jobs in the local area.
Even the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, was quick to give his input, saying the announcement had made it a great day in the city.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will also be hosted at the same time as Philadelphia’s semiquincentennial, which is known as the 250th anniversary of when the Declaration of Independence was signed in the city.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will involve 48 different nations all participating in the event and competing in 80 matches as they compete for the championship. 32 of the nations will also compete in November in Qatar. Billions of spectators are expected to watch the event due to the high viewership in the past, which includes 1.12 billion people watching the final match and 3.572 billion people who tuned in to view the 2018 Men’s World Cup tournament, which was hosted in Russia at the time.
Other host cities that were recently announced include Dallas, Miami, Boston, Seattle, New York/New Jersey, San Francisco, Kansas City, Hoston, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Many of the matches will also be hosted in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, and additional matches will be in Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico City. This will be monumental for Mexico as they become the first country to host the Men’s World Cup three separate times. It was originally posted in Mexico in 1970 and 1986 after Colombia could no longer host the event.
This is also a significant time in history because three different nations have never hosted the sports event at the same time. In the past, only two countries hosted the event simultaneously. In 2002, the FIFA World Cup was hosted by South Korea and Japan. In 2023, the Women’s World Cup was held in New Zealand and Australia.
1994 was the last time the FIFA World Cup was held in the United States. Ironically, Philadelphia was one of the nine cities that was considered when choosing where it would be hosted.
The 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup was the most recent soccer event when Jamaica lost to the Mexican men’s team. They were considered to be the underdog to the U.S. during the semifinals and shocked the world with their win.
Another reason so many people in Philadelphia are excited about the news is that the Union has been playing well and has a chance of participating in the Major League Soccer playoffs this year. They also played well last season when they were close to winning the championships. Unfortunately, 11 players tested positive for COVID and couldn’t participate as strict safety protocols were in place.
The success of Philadelphia’s bid is an additional success, on top of how it plans to host the all-star game for Major League Baseball in 2026, which will make it an exciting year. City leaders plan to continue lobbying additional major sports leagues to host more games in the future.