If North America wins the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Seattle is one step closer to hosting a game.
The united bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico announced the 23 candidate host city finalists Thursday. The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-nation field, and if chosen the North American bid intends to ask FIFA to choose 16 venues for the tournament.
Morocco is the only other contender to host the World Cup. Unlike the U.S., Morocco's bid requires stadium construction. A decision on the host will be announced June 13.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan welcomed the news.
“It is an enormous opportunity for our City, our fans, and our region’s economy. We’re ready to welcome teams and visitors from across the globe to the Emerald City," Durkan said in a statement.
The chosen U.S. cities are Arlington, Texas; Atlanta; Baltimore; Cincinnati; Denver; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Houston; Inglewood or Pasadena, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Landover, Maryland; Miami; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Santa Clara, California; and Seattle.
The Canadian cities are Edmonton, Alberta; Montreal; and Toronto; and Mexico's are Guadalajara; Mexico City; and Monterrey.
Not all North America cities who were initially vying to host a game were enamored with the process. Chicago and Minneapolis both dropped out of the running because of what city officials said were burdensome financial demands by FIFA.
Vancouver, BC, said its bid was rejected because it refused to comply with FIFA's requirements that include tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law. FIFA is headquartered in Switzerland.