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 By Tom Marshall

2026 World Cup bid to consider 49 stadiums across U.S., Mexico, Canada

U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support its World Cup joint bid.
ESPN's Sam Borden chats with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about the U.S.-led 2026 World Cup bid.

Thirty-four cities in the United States, seven cities in Canada and three in Mexico are on the list of proposed locations to host games at the 2026 World Cup, the United Bid Committee announced on Tuesday.

The organizers will reach out to each of the cities on the list and those hoping to be selected will have until Sept. 5 to declare their interest.

Those cities will then have until early January 2018 to prepare their bid to become a World Cup host, if they make the initial shortlist, which is set to be announced in late September.

Between 20-25 venues are set to be included in the final bid to FIFA, with the committee anticipating that 12 or more locations will be official host cities, if the North American bid is successful.

The bid lists a total of 49 stadiums across 44 cities, with three venues in the Los Angeles area and two in Dallas, Montreal and Toronto. Stadiums of all 32 NFL teams are on the list except for the Buffalo Bills' New Era Field.

The official bid for the 2026 World Cup by the United States, Mexico and Canada will be delivered to FIFA by the March 16, 2018, deadline and will face competition from Morocco, which announced a last-minute bid last week.

If successful, the U.S.-Canada-Mexico bid would return the World Cup to the United States for the first time since 1994, and would also make Mexico the first three-time host.

The plan calls for the U.S. to host 60 of the 80 games, with 10 each in Mexico and Canada. The only Mexican cities included on the list are Guadalajara (Estadio Chivas), Mexico City (Estadio Azteca) and Monterrey (Estadio Rayados).

FIFA requires a capacity of 80,000 for the opener and final, making the only possible sites in the list for those games Dallas, Los Angeles and New Jersey, as well as the less likely Washington, Jacksonville and Green Bay. Lambeau Field has never even hosted a U.S. national team game before.

Estadio Azteca in Mexico City also remains a possibility for the opener, though every game from the quarterfinals on will be in the U.S.

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