FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI/AP) — Boston has been selected by FIFA as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, meaning matches will be held at Gillette Stadium.
“We are thrilled to welcome FIFA World Cup Soccer back to Massachusetts in 2026,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a news release. “The teams and their fans from around the world will be welcomed by the Commonwealth’s restaurants and attractions both in Boston and beyond and we are appreciative of Robert Kraft for his efforts as Honorary Chair of the United Bid to help bring the World Cup back to the United States, as well as the Boston Soccer 2026 Committee for its tireless work to secure Boston as a host city.”
Each host city is projected to host four to six matches during the tournament.
Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and Kansas City, Missouri, were the newcomers among the 11 U.S. sites picked to host games, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida, were left out.
Arlington, Texas; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Inglewood and Santa Clara, California, were the holdovers.
FIFA announced its selections Thursday for the first World Cup with three co-hosts, also picking three Mexican cities and two in Canada.
The U.S. selections included none of the nine stadiums used at the 1994 World Cup. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Orlando’s Camping World Stadium were the only ones remaining in contention, and they were among the sites dropped in the final round.
New stadiums were selected in five areas used in 1994. AT&T Stadium in Texas replaced Dallas’ Cotton Bowl; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood took over for Pasadena’s Rose Bowl; and Levi’s Stadium instead of Stanford Stadium.
Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, replaced torn-down stadiums that were adjacent, Giants Stadium and Foxboro Stadium.
Orlando’s Camping World was dropped among existing 1994 venues. The Detroit area, where the old Pontiac Silverdome hosted games, was cut in 2018 and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium was dropped after FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, dropped out. Washington’s RFK Stadium was used in 1994.
Chicago, which hosted the 1994 opener at Solider Field, refused to bid, citing FIFA’s economic demands.
Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which hosted the 1970 and ’86 finals and will become the first stadium in three World Cups, was selected along with Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron and Monterrey’s Estadio BBVA.
Toronto’s BMO Field and Vancouver, British Columbia’s B.C. Place were picked while Edmonton, Alberta’s Commonwealth Stadium was dropped.
The bid plan envisioned 60 games in the U.S., including all from the quarterfinals on, and 10 each in Mexico and Canada.
Specific sites for each round will be announced later.
In contrast to the 1992 site announcement during a news conference, the 2026 announcement was made during a televised show from Fox’s studio in Manhattan.