As it is never enough to have the FIFA World Cup in four years, you can't afford to miss a moment to get ready for the next World Cup 2026.
Since the 2022 World Cup craze is still in the air, you can carry this hangover with the preparation for the upcoming 23rd FIFA World Cup in 2026. Even though it seems like four long years of waiting, the countdown has already begun with confirmation of host countries, expansion of teams, playoff formats, and so on. If you don't want to miss any information about the 2026 World Cup, you will be halfway to the next World Cup temptation through this article.
No matter how you are going to watch your favorite World Cup 2026 matches, on your Television, Smartphone, or in the gallery of the stadium, the confirmation of the World Cup hosting country takes your excitement to another level. So, the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosting privilege goes to three North American countries; Mexico, The United Stats and Canada. The championship will be jointly conducted in 16 cities in these countries.
When United 2026 (better known as North American 2026 bid) won the bid with the final vote at 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, the three hosting countries' names with 16 cities were announced. Among them, 2 from Canada, 3 from Mexico, and 11 cities are from the United States. So let's see the 2026 World Cup venue details with stadium and audience capacity info so you can plan your 2026 World Cup schedule.
2 Cities in Canada
- Toronto: BMO Field (Seats 45,500)
- Vancouver: BC Place (Seats 54,500)
3 Cities in Mexico
- Monterrey: Estadio BBVA (Seats 53,460)
- Guadalajara: Estadio Akron (Seats 48,071)
- Mexico City: Estadio Azteca (Seats 87,523)
11 Cities in the United States
- San Francisco/Bay Area: Levi's Stadium (capacity 70,909)
- Seattle: Lumen Field (capacity 69,000)
- Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (capacity 75,000)
- Boston: Gillette Stadium (capacity 70,000)
- New York/New Jersey: MetLife Stadium (capacity 87,157)
- Philadelphia: Lincoln Financial Field (capacity 69,328)
- Dallas: AT&T Stadium (capacity 92,967)
- Houston: NRG Stadium (capacity 72,220)
- Miami: Hard Rock Stadium (capacity 67,518)
- New York/New Jersey: MetLife Stadium (capacity 87,157)
- Kansas City: Arrowhead Stadium (capacity 76,640)
- Los Angeles: SoFi Stadium (capacity 70,000)
Among these 16 stadiums, 8 are covered with artificial turf surfaces, but according to FIFA's direction, these surfaces need to be replaced with grass. And 5 stadiums among 16 have retractable roofs.
You never get bored watching the same soccer matches of the same teams over and over again in any FIFA World Cup Tournament because every time, you have experienced "old wine in a new bottle." Yes, each time, the World Cup has come up with some twists and turns in its novelty to double up your excitement. So, the 2026 World Cup will also not be an exception.
Since 2002 when FIFA was hosted in South Korea & Japan, it is going to be the first FIFA World Cup that will be hosted in more than one or two countries.
Mexico will have the World Cup hosting honor for the third time, with prior hosting privileges in 1970 and 1986.
The United States will get this opportunity for the second time after 1994. Whereas Canada is going to get the honor for the first time. There will be 48 teams in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
With the suggestion of FIFA president Gianni Infantino the format of this soccer championship has been transformed from 32 teams to 48 teams. However, this team format expansion process has gone through three stages. First, let's have a look at them.
- 40 Teams divided into 8 groups of 5 teams with 88 matches.
- 40 Teams divided into 10 groups of 4 teams with 76 matches.
- 48 Teams are divided into 16 groups of 3 teams with 80 matches.
The FIFA Council will implement the last format option while increasing the number of games from 64 to 80. The format will work in such a way that the tournament will begin with 16 groups of 3 teams, and among them, the top two teams of each group will play the "Knockout Tournament," which begins with the rounds of 32 teams.
The FIFA council is also considering another team format combination of 12 groups of 4 teams or 2 sets of 6 groups of 4 teams. Nothing has been finalized yet; however, the finalist team will play the 7 matches the same as the prior format, and the championship will be over in 32 days, the same as the past schedule.
Even though it is too early to have any official confirmation about the qualifying teams of the 2026 World Cup, according to the FIFA tradition, the three hosting countries will qualify automatically for the championship. According to FIFA, president CONCACAF will automatically have 6 bids in the 2026 FIFA Cup: 3 for the hosting and 3 for the qualification.
Apart from this, two more CONCACAF nations will earn slots through expanded intercontinental qualifying rounds. So, it is confirmed that a total of 8 CONCACAF nations will participate in the World Cup 2026. So let's look at the other expected qualifying spots in the 2026 FIFA Championship.
- AFC: The Asian Confederation expects 8 qualifying spots, with an additional one from intercontinental playoffs. It will have 5 qualifying rounds.
- CAF: The African Confederation will have the double advantage of World Cup 2026 expansion with 9 qualifying spots. It will also have participants from the intercontinental playoff.
- CONCACAF: The North American Confederation will own 6 qualifying spots and two more spots from intercontinental playoffs.
- CONMEBOL: The South American Confederation will send 6 qualifiers and one more participant from the intercontinental playoffs.
- UEFA: Europe will present 16 qualifying nations while increasing the number from 13 in the prior World Cup structure of 32 teams. However, an official announcement about the team formatting has yet to be announced.
Though there is no information provided on the official website of FIFA, it is expected that the 2026 World Cup tickets will be available for sale in 2025 since the 2022 World Cup Tickets were on sale 10 months prior to the beginning of the tournament. There are four categories in FIFA World Cup pricing till 2022. First, look at the tickets' price structure to know the expected price of the 2026 World Cup Tickets.
- Opening Match: $54.85 to $301.68
- Group Play: $10.97 to $219.40
- Round of 16: $19.20 to $274.26
- Quarter-Finals: $82.28 to $425.10
- Semi-Finals: $137.13 to $954.41
- Third-Place Match: $82.28 to $425.10
Even though the new team formatting option with 48 teams widens up more opportunities for more countries, teams, and players, it was criticized by the European Club Association, Joachim Löw (Coach of the German National Team), and Javier Tebas (President of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional). So, let's see what argument they have against the format.
- The existing number of teams is already unacceptable.
- Increasing the number will compromise the quality of the game.
- According to the opposition, it is a result of the political influence of FIFA President Infantino.
- This new formatting will increase the collusion among teams.
While going through this article, you have probably got to know the most highlighting information about the World Cup 2026 to charge up your energy for the next session. All this information will also help you to plan your next FIFA schedule while following the upcoming updates.