On Thursday, FIFA, the international governing body of football, announced the 16 host cities for the 2026 matches, including 11 in the US, three in Mexico and two in Canada. The 2026 World Cup will mark the first time three countries will host the soccer competition jointly.
FIFA accepted the joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the US to host the 2026 World Cup back in June 2018, beating Morocco in a final vote during the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup starting in November.
If you're interested in attending the 2026 World Cup, here's what you need to know about the host cities and when you'll be able to get your hands on tickets to watch one of the greatest events in sports in person.
When is the 2026 World Cup?
The 2026 World Cup doesn't yet have set dates, but is expected to return to a summer timeline in 2026, sometime in June or July.
Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president, told Fox Sports channel that FIFA will "take our time with the decision" when it comes to setting the opening matches and the final.
This year's World Cup will take place in Qatar, starting Nov. 21 and running through Dec. 18. FIFA scheduled the matches late in the year to avoid Qatar's summer heat. (Had it been held elsewhere, it would likely have begun June 10, when the temperature hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Doha, Qatar's capital, according to The Guardian.)
Who will be in the 2026 World Cup?
The first round of the 2026 World Cup will include 48 teams, an increase from the usual 32-team format, playing 80 matches across North America, making it the largest World Cup in FIFA history.
The first round will be divided into 16 groups, consisting of three countries each. The top two countries of each group will advance to the next stage.
FIFA is expected to announce whether any of the 2026 host countries will automatically qualify for the World Cup, which is typical for the tournament.
In which cities will the 2026 World Cup take place?
FIFA has announced the host cities for 2026, which include:
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Los Angeles
- Mexico City
- Monterrey, Mexico
- New York/New Jersey
- San Francisco Bay Area
FIFA will announce which of the 16 cities will host group play and elimination rounds nearer the start of the tournament.
Can I buy 2026 World Cup tickets right now?
As of now, tickets to the 2026 World Cup are not on sale. FIFA will announce more information later. You can expect tickets to go on sale sometime in 2025 or 2026. Tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar first went on sale in January this year.