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Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:41 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 12:44 PM
— Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, voted last week to play the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
And while the announcement raised much excitement in North American soccer circles, it left questions that won’t be fully answered for years. Here are some of them.
WHICH CITIES WILL HOST MATCHES?
Sixteen North American cities -- at least 10 in the United States -- will be chosen by FIFA in 2020 or 2021 to host matches. Those 16 choices will come from 23 “candidate cities.” FIFA will have negotiating leverage in whittling the number.
The U.S. host cities will be chosen from among these candidates: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas), Denver (Broncos Stadium at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, or the new NFL stadium under construction), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey), Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California), Seattle (CenturyLink Field) and Washington (FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.)
In addition, current plans call for matches to be played in up to three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) and up to three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey).
"We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums -- some iconic, some brand-new cutting-edge and everything in between," U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision to make … when we have to determine the final 16 cities. But it’s a high-class problem.”
Under current plans, 60 matches will be played in the U.S., 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico.
WHAT IS THE COST OF HOSTING?
It helps that no new stadiums will have to be built in North America for the event, but the costs of security, transportation and other requirements will be considerable in any host city.
“We’ve been told during the bid process it is on the level of (hosting) a Super Bowl,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of Atlanta’s World Cup committee. “We have not gotten into too much detail on that yet, but we will during this next phase of the process.”