Planning is underway for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and forty nine stadiums in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are being considered.
While the majority of cities and stadiums being looked at are in the U.S, three are in Mexico and nine stadiums in seven Canadian cities are candidates.
What, no Winnipeg?
One of the hosting requirements is that stadiums have 40,000 permanent seats – not temporary – and installing thousands more seats at the home of the Blue Bombers is a cost that will not be covered by FIFA. Other requirements include grass fields, an expensive changeover from turf.
If successful, the North American bid would see ten games played in Canada, with the final in the United States.
The World Cup is held every four years, and in 2026 the ‘expanded format’ will be in place: the current thirty two teams will expand to forty eight teams, split into sixteen groups of three. The top two teams from each group, totaling thirty-two, will then move on to a knockout stage of thirty two teams.
Europe and Asia cannot bid on this round because the 2018 World Cup will be in Russia, and Qatar is hosting in 2022.
The deadline for applications was Friday: the only competing bid is from Morocco, and a final decision will be announced in June of next year.