(Reuters) – The New York/New Jersey area, Los Angeles, Toronto and Mexico City are among the 23 candidate host cities for the joint United States, Canada and Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup, bid officials said on Thursday.
The cities were announced on the eve of the submission of the North American bid to world soccer’s governing body FIFA and followed the withdrawal of Vancouver and Chicago as potential host cities because of concerns over the unpredictable costs.
Seventeen of the cities are in the United States and three each in Canada and Mexico. Matches will be played in each country if the bid is successful.
“We are confident that the combination of our 23 existing world-class stadiums, 150 existing elite training facilities, and our modern and interconnected transportation network can help FIFA to achieve new records for attendance and revenue, which will allow the entire global football community to improve and grow,” John Kristick, executive director of the united bid, said in a statement.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature 48 nations with Canada expected to get 10 of the 80 matches. Mexico will be awarded 10 games while 60 will go to the United States.
Morocco is the only challenger to the joint U.S., Canada and Mexico bid to stage the tournament.
FIFA will vote to decide the winning bid at its congress on June 13.
The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup and Mexico staged the tournament in 1970 and 1986.
The united bid’s 23 candidate host cities are:
Canada – Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto
Mexico – Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey
United States – Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)