The world’s biggest sporting event is coming to Seattle. Long considered a favorite to be chosen as one of the host cities for the 2026 Men’s World Cup, FIFA made it official on Thursday, naming Seattle along with other 15?!?!! other cities in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The Seattle 2026 organizing committee also announced plans for a public celebration from 5-8 PM today at Pier 62.
Joining Seattle in the Western Region are Vancouver, B.C.; San Francisco Bay Area; Los Angeles; Guadalajara, Mexico. The Central Region is made up of Kansas City; Dallas; Atlanta; Houston; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mexico City. The Eastern Region will be made up of Toronto; Boston; Philadelphia; Miami; and New York/New Jersey.
Vancouver will reportedly receive six games, likely setting up a scenario where one or two groups will play all their games in the Pacific Northwest.
The 2026 tournament will be largest to date with 48 teams. Those teams will be broken into 16 three-team groups with the top two teams from each advancing to a Round of 32. That format will mean there are 80 total games, up from 62 in this year’s edition.
Seattle’s place in the tournament is the culmination of work that effectively started in 1997 when Washington voters approved the funding that largely paid for what would eventually become Lumen Field.
There will be plenty of other activities surrounding the World Cup outside of games, most notable a FanFest that will serve to effectively link Lumen Field to the waterfront.