Alan Rothenberg reflected on how stadiums were chosen for the 1994 World Cup in the United States as FIFA prepares to reveal the 2026 World Cup locations on Thursday – and make high-profile cuts.
He explained, “They granted the rights to the host country, and the host country ran the entire affair.” “Everything is handled by FIFA in-house. As a result, it’s been a long and laborious process. Cities have had a difficult time dealing with the terms.”
Among the 10-12 stadiums chosen from the United States for the tournament, which Mexico and Canada will co-host, seventeen stadiums in 16 areas remained in contention. Under FIFA’s schedule, the United States will host 60 of the 80 games, including all of the quarterfinals, and there was little dispute about the venues for the other ten games.
The nine American venues were revealed at a Waldorf-Astoria press conference 816 days before the game. FIFA will unveil the results at a Fox television studio 1,456 days before the likely start.
There looked to be Multiple Tiers in Handicapping the Bidders:
—Locks: AT&T Stadium and Met Life Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and East Rutherford, New Jersey, as well as SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
—Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium, Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium, Houston’s NRG Stadium, Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium, Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, and Seattle’s Lumen Field are among the contenders.
According to Foxla, Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, and Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida are the least likely candidates.
—In the other countries, the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals and will become the first stadium to host three World Cups; the Estadio Akron in Guadalajara; the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey; BMO Field in Toronto; and B.C. Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, was set to be scrapped.
“This country has more than 17 cities capable of hosting the World Cup, and those that lose out would be a pity,” said Andrés Cantor of Telemundo, who has aired the tournament since 1990 and will co-host the announcement. “However, he doesn’t believe it will diminish the people’s desire.”