SOCCER

NEWS: San Francisco Bay Area, Levi’s® Stadium selected to host 2026 FIFA World Cup™

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – FIFA today announced the selection of the San Francisco Bay Area as the official host community for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ which will take place in Canada, Mexico and the United States. In a globally televised live announcement from New York, the Bay Area was included among the communities that will host games in the first 48-team field in tournament history. With a record 80 matches, the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is expected to generate millions of dollars in economic impact, hundreds of thousands of fans traveling to the Bay Area and thousands of on-time jobs full.

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The announcement confirms that Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is the only venue in the region to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is expected to break previous attendance records for the event, with more than 2 million of tickets that should be sold. The record for the most attended FIFA World Cup in history dates back to 1994, when the United States – and the Bay Area – first hosted the event. Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto was the region’s first FIFA World Cup™ venue, with Levi’s Stadium set to become the second. Since opening in 2014, Levi’s Stadium has established itself as a popular venue for world-class football showcases, including the 2016 Copa América Centenario, 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup and multiple International Champions Cups.

“From 2017, when we first unveiled our participation in the United Bid, to 2021, when we welcomed FIFA and showed their delegation to our beautiful region, the Bay Area 2026 Bid team has remained confident that that day would come,” shared Al Guido, 49ers President and Chairman of the Bay Area Host Committee. “Over the past eight years, innovative technology, durability and fan-centric design elements have cemented Levi’s Stadium among the nation’s premier sports and entertainment venues. This site was designed to host events like the FIFA World Cup™, an event that will generate continued economic activity for our region over the next four years and beyond.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring the greatest sporting event in the world to our passionate and diverse Bay Area community. As we celebrate today, tomorrow marks the start of a long and fulfilling road to our first FIFA World Cup match in 2026,” said Patricia Ernstrom, Executive Director of the Bay Area Host Committee. “We have enjoyed the process of partnering with FIFA over the past few years to get us to this point and we look forward to continuing our relationship as we prepare to put a unique Bay Area stamp on the biggest World Cup ever. FIFA of all time.”

Today’s FIFA World Cup™ announcement follows decades of enthusiasm for the sport of soccer in the Bay Area, which includes record youth attendance and a passionate fanbase for the San Jose Earthquakes, the local top-tier professional team. Levi’s Stadium has also hosted top international club teams including FC Barcelona, ​​AC Milan and Chivas.

“Hosting the FIFA World Cup matches in the Bay Area will not only allow visitors from around the world to experience all that our region has to offer, but it will invigorate the ongoing efforts of earthquakes to San Jose to grow the global game in our diverse communities,” said Jared Shawlee, President of San Jose Earthquakes. “We are truly thrilled to be able to embrace the spirit and mission of the FIFA World Cup and create a lasting community legacy through the sport of soccer in the Bay Area.”

Winning the opportunity to host matches of the FIFA World Cup™ in 2026 is the culmination of an extensive bidding process that was crowned with a resolution passed unanimously by the Santa Clara City Council to support the application. The games are expected to be an economic boon to the region and bring millions of dollars in economic impact to hotels, restaurants and other businesses, and will generate thousands of jobs in the Bay Area.

“Holding an event like the FIFA World Cup is a unique opportunity for us and all Santa Clarans who love football,” said Karen Hardy, Santa Clara City Council Member who introduced the city’s resolution to support the bid. “This is going to bring a jolt of excitement to our community, but it will also be a significant economic boost for businesses emerging from two years of COVID right now and needing it more than ever. We are committed to ensuring that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be remembered for decades with the sense of pride and accomplishment it deserves.

Illustrating the welcoming and collaborative qualities of the Bay Area, the Bay Area 2026 Host Committee has been supported by a wide range of local business and political leaders since 2018. Statements from some of them can be found below:

“The Bay Area and Los Angeles are home to state-of-the-art sports facilities, world-class restaurants and hotels, and some of the biggest companies in the world, but what really makes them special are their people. The Bay and Los Angeles have incredibly diverse communities that thrive on accepting people and ideas from around the world and have developed as centers of football for generations,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California is a beacon of hope for immigrants around the world and we are excited to show the world our global community here in our own backyard as host of the World Cup four years from now.”

“I am thrilled that the Bay Area has been chosen as the host site for the 2026 World Cup and that we will have the opportunity to show off our region,” said Evan Low, California State Assemblyman. “I’ve always been proud of the diversity of our community, so having fans and teams traveling here from around the world is fitting and a deserved celebration of all Bay Area cultures. It will be a huge economic boost for the region and the excitement of the games will inspire a whole new generation of football players.

Specific details on match dates, times, teams and rounds will be announced in preparation for the event. Fans and those interested in getting involved in bringing the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the Bay Area can visit BayArea2026.com.

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