On Thursday, June 16, FIFA announced the 16 cities that have been selected to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, 11 of which are in the United States, three in Mexico and two in Canada. The San Francisco Bay Area, specifically utilizing Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, was among the 11 chosen to represent the U.S.
“We are honored and excited that the San Francisco Bay Area has been named a host region for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” said Earthquakes Managing Partner John Fisher. “The Bay Area has been one of the top soccer markets in the country over the years, hosting World Cups, Olympic soccer matches and many of soccer’s top clubs and countries. Additionally, we boast a diverse community that has an unparalleled enthusiasm for the world’s game. The Earthquakes and PayPal Park are looking forward to working closely with Levi’s Stadium and other constituents around the Bay Area to host an unforgettable experience for our community and leave a strong legacy for the sport in our region.”
The Bay Area has a long history with the World Cup, hosting matches during the 1994 men’s tournament and 1999 women’s tournament. The 1994 FIFA World Cup served as a precursor to Major League Soccer’s conception, which ultimately kicked off on April 6, 1996, right here in San Jose at Spartan Stadium.
“Hosting FIFA World Cup matches in the Bay Area will not only bring global visitors to experience all our region has to offer, but it will reinvigorate the ongoing efforts of the San Jose Earthquakes to grow the world’s game in our diverse communities,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee. “We are truly excited to be able to incorporate the spirit and mission of the FIFA World Cup and create a lasting community legacy through the sport of soccer in the Bay Area.”
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was watched by more than 3 billion people worldwide, including more than 1.1 billion for the Final between France and Croatia alone.