ATLANTA - Atlanta will likely play a significant role in hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Wednesday morning, FIFA selected a joint bid involving the United States, Mexico and Canada as host nations for the event. The North American bid was chosen over a competing bid from Morocco.
The North American bid included 23 cities as potential host cities for matches, including Atlanta. Of those 23 cities, 16 will ultimately be selected to host World Cup matches.
FIFA officials New York and Atlanta earlier in 2018 during the bidding process, to tour prospective venues for World Cup matches in North America.
Atlanta United President Darren Eales visited Good Day Atlanta Wednesday and described his reaction to the announcement of the selection, saying "It's just a big scream of joy, because for us in this city in particular, there's 23 cities at the moment that are going to get whittled down to 16, but we're front and center. We've got Mercedes Benz Stadium, the best stadium in the world, we've got a city that's used to putting on big events like the Super Bowl, we've had the Olympics, and now we've got Atlanta United which is showing that this is the biggest soccer city in America, so we're really front and center of the World Cup bid and its going to be amazing for the city."
The United States will host 60 of the 80 matches in all, including every match from the quarterfinals through the final. The U.S. last hosted the World Cup in 1994.