World Cup bid committee narrows list of potential host cities to 32


The soccer federations of the United States, Canada, and Mexico are making a united bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

The United Bid Committee representing the three nations' joint bid for the event announced Wednesday that nine cities - seven in the USA, two in Canada - had expressed interest are no longer in the running.

The list was narrowed down from 44 that were named this summer.

The United Bid Committee stressed that non-host cities will be considered for such tasks as possible locations for team base camps or other non-competition related events leading up to the tournament.

United States (25): Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Washington D.C. Thus it will require more places for matches as well as training sites, lodging, transportation logistics and support venues.

The 25 USA cities include three from Florida, as Orlando, Miami and Tampa are still in contention to become World Cup hosts. Representatives from the cities will also go to Houston the week of November 13 to work with the committee.

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The final list of host cities is not expected to exceed 12.

Terry Hasseltine, executive director of Maryland Sports, an agency of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said in August that M&T Bank Stadium is "an ideal venue for the World Cup", but Baltimore faces competition from other larger Mid-Atlantic cities, such as Washington, Philadelphia and NY.

The joint North American bid is seen as the favorite for 2026, with only one other bid - Morocco - so far in the running for the tournament.

Initially, 41 markets from the U.S., Canada and Mexico submitted initial applications to be part of the bid. "We have a vision for growing the game and engaging fans as never before".

No longer under consideration: Birmingham, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Antonio, plus Regina and Ottawa in Canada.