HOUSTON — It’s official, Houston! The Bayou City will be hosting matches during the 2026 World Cup, FIFA announced Thursday in New York.
Houston was one of several North American cities in the bidding war to host matches for the first tournament with an expanded field of 48 teams. Previous World Cups were held with 32 teams.
Matches will also take place in Canada and Mexico. In 2026, FIFA World Cup matches will be held in three different countries for the first time. Mexico will become the first country to host matches in three different World Cups. Canada will be hosting its first World Cup matches.
The 16 host cities were broken down into three regions.
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Kansas City
- Mexico City
- New York/New Jersey
According to a tweet from the official FIFA World Cup account, the matches will be played at NRG Stadium.
Canada and Mexico each had three potential host cities. The U.S. had 22 potential cities.
The highest-attended World Cup of all time was in 1994 when the United States hosted the tournament.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being held in Qatar later this year. The United States plays Wales on the opening day of the tournament -- Nov. 21.
Watch Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's reaction to the 2026 Fifa World Cup announcement below:
The news may have leaked on Wednesday, a day before the official announcement, when the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority tweeted out asking the public to join them to celebrate Houston being named a host city. The tweet was deleted a short time later. Another tweet went out from the sports association saying, "IF Houston is selected as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup there will be a celebration party on Friday, June 17."
The economic impact of the World Cup in Houston would be massive. Just for perspective, Canetti said the 2017 Super Bowl generated around $347 million in revenue for the region. A World Cup host site? That could bring upwards of $1 billion.