A significant milestone on the road to the FIFA World Cup 2026™ was reached as the 16 Host Cities that are due to stage matches at the first edition of football’s showpiece to feature 48 teams were unveiled by FIFA. The highly anticipated announcement was made on a TV show produced in cooperation with FOX and Telemundo from New York and broadcast live to host countries Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as the whole world via FIFA+.
The announcement follows the most transparent and comprehensive bidding process in football history, with FIFA’s decision having been made in the best interests of the game, taking into consideration the needs of all stakeholders involved in the FIFA World Cup 2026.
“We congratulate the 16 FIFA World Cup Host Cities on their outstanding commitment and passion. Today is a historic day – for everyone in those cities and states, for FIFA, for Canada, the USA and Mexico who will put on the greatest show on Earth. We look forward to working together with them to deliver what will be an unprecedented FIFA World Cup and a game-changer as we strive to make football truly global,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
“We were delighted by the unparalleled competitiveness of this selection process. We are extremely grateful not only to the 16 cities that have been selected, but also to the other six – with whom we look forward to continuing to engage and explore additional opportunities to welcome fans and participating teams. This has always been a FIFA World Cup of three countries, and that undoubtedly will have a tremendous impact on the whole region and the wider football community,” added FIFA Vice President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani.
Houston was selected as one of 16 North American cities to host games.
FIFA on Houston
As one of the most diverse destinations in America, the city will utilize the power of the FIFA World Cup™ to bring communities together to showcase the city to the world, providing a once-in-a lifetime experience for Houstonians, and leveraging the spirit of the event to leave a lasting legacy to football in the United States. The city was incorporated in 1837 and named after General Sam Houston. Located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, it is the principal city of the Greater Houston metro area, which is the fifth most populated metropolitan area in the United States. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with the discovery of oil in 1901, has generated continual surges in the population.
Houston Dynamo became the fourth professional team in Houston. The Dynamo won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007 and are one of the top franchises in MLS. The others are the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), and Houston Rockets (NBA). Houston supports many youth recreational programs and competitive clubs under South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA), with over 100,000 members.
Houston has a history of hosting large sporting events with well-equipped facilities. The NRG Stadium hosted the 2017 Super Bowl and has been home to some of the most prestigious football events in the United States. In 2008, the US played regional rivals Mexico in front of more than 70,000 fans and NRG Stadium has hosted Concacaf Gold Cup matches from 2005 until 2011, the 2016 Copa América Centenario, the Manchester City-Manchester United derby, and many Mexican national team games. In 2008, USA Football recognized NRG Stadium as the “Best Football Crowd in America” as well as America’s Top Gold Cup Venue.