The odds of the 2026 World Cup landing in South Florida increased dramatically as FIFA, the sport’s governing body, voted to award the event to a three-country joint bid submitted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
One of 23 potential venues identified in the coordinated North American effort, Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium is considered a strong contender to make the final cut of 16 sites to co-host the games. In addition to its vast soccer-friendly fanbase, Miami is a 2026 favorite thanks to the involvement of some key local personalities.
For example, former University of Miami president Donna Shalala serves on the united North American bid committee while Miami resident Carlos Cordeiro was recently elected U.S. Soccer President, notes the Miami Herald.
The United States last hosted the Cup in 1994. That year’s tournament utilized a total of nine stadiums, including the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Now known as Camping World Stadium, the central Florida venue is also in the running to host matches in eight years time.
Other North American cities contending for the 2026 Cup are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Edmonton, Montreal, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mexico City, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
A final decision on the 16 match sites is expected in 2020.