The 2026 World Cup: Highlights and Host Cities Revealed:

News by Sana Ullah

The 2026 World Cup will kick off in Mexico City and conclude at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The U.S. men’s national team is set to compete in Southern California and Seattle. The semifinals will take place in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas. Overall, 78 out of 104 games will be held in the United States.

These were the key points revealed on Sunday as FIFA unveiled essential elements of the most intricate World Cup schedule to date.

The 16 North American cities chosen—11 in the U.S., three in Mexico, and two in Canada—received details about the dates and significance of the matches they will host.

Officials in New York and New Jersey expressed joy over the announcement. Hosting the final is a significant milestone, making it the most-watched sporting event globally and the pinnacle of the tournament. New York and MetLife Stadium secured the grand prize after months of lobbying, besting Dallas and AT&T Stadium.

Years ago, New York was widely expected to host the final, but predictions shifted over time. Dallas emerged as a strong contender, with Los Angeles also entering the fray. Ultimately, FIFA opted for the natural choice—New York, the cultural capital of the Western world and a fitting setting for a truly global event. New York officials even proposed illuminating landmarks and organizing viewing parties in Central Park.

However, the stadium in nearby New Jersey posed some challenges. MetLife Stadium, while adjacent, is smaller and less grand compared to other contenders. It faced difficulties during its largest event to date, the 2014 Super Bowl, lacking climate control and therefore vulnerable to extreme temperatures or adverse weather conditions.

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