Seattle (AFP) – FIFA and CONCACAF are close to making a decision on the stadiums of the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup matches. A decision is expected next spring.
A delegation from FIFA and CONCACAF visited Seattle for the second time on Monday, the city a strong candidate to host a match due to its history with football, and its favorable summer weather as it is the only city in the Pacific Northwest to submit a nomination. .
FIFA Head of Championships and Events Colin Smith indicated that visits to potential venues will end at the end of November and they expect a decision to be made in late March or early April.
“Definitely the decision is getting more and more complicated with each stop, and I think it’s a positive issue,” Smith said.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature 48 teams, and this presents a logistical problem with the widest geographic footprint of any World Cup to date. The games will be held from Edmonton and Alberta to Mexico City and from Seattle to Boston. Smith indicated that they are currently considering choosing 16 cities to host the Games, but it is not a fact.
Seattle was the latest in a string of visits that included Kansas City, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterey in Mexico and San Francisco. The delegation visited Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, the New York region and New Jersey in September.
They are expected to make another series of visits this month to Mexico City, Guadalajara in Mexico, as well as Los Angeles in the United States, and Edmonton and Toronto in Canada.
“In the end, it’s like a piece of the puzzle in all these different areas,” Smith said. “Shattering the magic of the World Cup is very difficult, so the only way to do that is to watch all the groups that make up.”
One of the biggest questions Seattle and the other candidate cities are asking is what to do with synthetic courts. FIFA requires natural grass pitches for the World Cup.
Seattle does not appear to have any intention of replacing the artificial turf that the Seattle Seahawks and MLS Seattle Sounders play at Lumen Field. They have mixed results with a temporary natural herb.
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