Moscow (Yahoo Sports) – For the first time in 32 years, the men’s World Cup is coming back to North America.
FIFA’s 200-plus member associations gathered in Moscow on Wednesday and voted to award 2026 World Cup hosting rights to the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The North American bid – the product of over a decade of planning and campaigning – beat out one rival bid, Morocco’s, by a vote of 134 to 65.
Concerns over the demands from FIFA for financial and regulatory concessions prompted cities like Vancouver, Chicago and Minneapolis to back out of the bid.
Barring changes to the North American proposal, 60 of 80 games will be in the United States, with 10 apiece in Canada and Mexico. Those 60 include every game from the quarterfinals onward.
Canada and Mexico have proposed three host cities each: Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton will stage games north of the U.S. border, while Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey will be match sites down south.
Meanwhile BC’s Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture issued the following statement regarding Canada’s successful bid to co-host the FIFA 2026 World Cup:
“I congratulate the United bid on its success.
“Our government has a responsibility to ensure that B.C. taxpayers are not on the hook for hidden costs.
“The Province carefully assesses all sport events for value to taxpayers.
“The FIFA bid agreement contained clauses, which government felt left taxpayers at unacceptable risk of additional costs. We tried very hard to get assurances that addressed our concerns. Unfortunately, those assurances were not forthcoming.
“I am happy for Canadian soccer fans that some of the World Cup matches are coming to Canadian host cities.”
The U.S. must cut a list of 17 cities down to 10 over the coming years. It has proposed the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) for the opener; Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta) and AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.) for semifinals; and MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) for the final.
The other U.S. cities in the running are Baltimore, Boston (Foxborough, Mass.), Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco (Santa Clara, Calif.) and Seattle and Washington, D.C. The favorites among them would likely be Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Seattle and Houston.
World Cup 2018 starts in Russia on Thursday.
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) June 13, 2018