Tampa advances to next stage in hosting 2026 World Cup

Soccer Canada

Soccer Canada

"Additionally, the potential host cities reflect the vast geographic and cultural diversity of North America and share a commitment to using the once-in-a-generation opportunity of hosting the FIFA World Cup to welcome, entertain, inspire and empower the next generation of players and fans as never before".

The next stage of the bid process will include committee members and local officials collaborating to finish hosting documents required by World Cup organizer Federation Internationale de Football Association.

All stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group stage matches, and a capacity of at least 80,000 to be considered for the Opening Match and the Final.

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"United 2026" represents a unified bid between Mexico, Canada and the United States to host the event.

The 2026 World Cup will be expanded to a 48-team format requiring an increase in first class venues and training facilities. The United Bid Committee, who is handling the multi-national bid, revealed a shortlist of cities in the three countries who are in the running to host games. And the next stage of the process is meant to "integrate the 32 potential host cities into the united bid strategy and vision", according to a release.

The list also includes four cities in Canada and six in Mexico. "Our Sport Hosting Vancouver partners put together a compelling story that showcases Vancouver's world-class hosting reputation and experience and we would be honoured to welcome the world again in 2026", Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement.

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In May, FIFA's membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Council's proposals to keep the bidding window for the 2026 World Cup open for a further three months at the governing body's Congress in Bahrain. Other cities could play a role by hosting teams.

Morocco made the only other bid for the 2026 games.

Of the 32 cities to show up on the list, only a dozen or so will ultimately host games should North America be selected.

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