Whatever the reason, we are now looking forward to the men’s World Cup – scheduled to be held in three countries for the first time ever. The US, Canada and Mexico will host the traditional celebration of football, with 16 different cities supplying the venues.
We don’t have the room to profile every single stadium here. But we thought we would whet your appetite for a trip across the pond with a look at some of the more iconic stadiums and arenas set to host games throughout the tournament. The qualifiers may not have even begun in many regions – but we want to be completely ready for World Cup 2026!
MetLife Stadium, New York/New Jersey
We can understand why FIFA would want to locate the MetLife Stadium in New York. After all, the New York Giants and the New York Jets of the NFL both call it home. But you won’t find the place in any of the famous five boroughs. You will have to take the short trip over the Hudson River to East Rutherford instead.
It virtually sits on the site of the old Giants Stadium, which was torn down in 2010, with the new structure costing a then-record $1.6 billion. Other major sporting events have been held here, including the Super Bowl and international football friendlies. As per FIFA instructions, a grass playing surface will be installed for the duration of the World Cup.
SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
This 70,000 capacity stadium was only opened in 2020 and is one of a new breed of sports arenas that are better suited to football than some of the venues used for the previous US World Cup back in 1994. It is the home of the Los Angeles Rams NFL team and is handily placed, just three miles from LAX airport.
Originally budgeted at around $2.5 billion, the final cost has been estimated at nearer $5 billion, making it the most expensive sports stadium ever built. It has already hosted a Super Bowl, a College Football Playoff National Championship, a CONCACAF Gold Cup final, and even a Wrestlemania. So we think it should be just fine for the World Cup too.
AT&T Stadium, Dallas
Everything is bigger in Texas, or so they say. The capacity for the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (just next door to Dallas itself) can be as big as 100,000. But it is more likely that 80,000 will be able to watch World Cup games there in 2026. Originally conceived as an entertainment venue, it has been nicknamed “the Death Star” and “Jerry World” after the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who play there.
The stadium is also home to the biggest HD video screen in the world. It is so big that when the college basketball championships were held there, the video screen was actually bigger than the court. It has also caused some problems for NFL kickers, with three players managing to hit the screen during games.
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
As much as all of the American venues for the World Cup are outstanding examples of sports architecture, we also wanted to profile some from the other countries hosting the tournament. The first of which really shouldn’t need much introduction, as the Estadio Azteca is well known to any World Cup fan.
One of the most iconic football stadiums on the planet, it was the first to host two World Cup finals, with Brazil’s famous 1970 victory and Argentina’s 1986 triumph both taking place here. It was also the scene of Diego Maradona’s infamous hand of god goal – which will be well remembered by England fans in particular.
Estadio BBVA, Monterrey
For a more modern slice of Mexican football architecture, we head north to Monterrey and the Estadio BBVA. Nicknamed “El Gigante de Acero”, or “The Steel Giant”, the stadium is able to hold over 53,000 supporters, with some able to take in the Cerro de la Silla mountain as a stunning backdrop.
As with many of the new stadiums around the world, the Estadio BBVA also boasts enviable environmental credentials. Almost a third of the total land areas are green areas, with woodland trails as part of the complex. As well as top football matches, the stadium has also hosted concerts by Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Bad Bunny.
BC Place, Vancouver
We now head much further north – to Canada, in fact. Originally opened in 1983, the place enjoyed a complete refurbishment in 2016 and is now one of the most spectacular sports stadiums in the country. Home to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League and the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS, the capacity for the World Cup will be around 54,000.
BC Place has actually already hosted World Cup games, with the 2015 Women’s tournament a highlight. With two SkyTrain stations (the local train network) serving the stadium, fans should have no trouble getting to and from games. It remains to be seen if the retractable roof will be needed in 2026.
BMO Field, Toronto
The other Canadian venue for the 2026 World Cup is BMO Field in Toronto. Opened in 2007, it is the home of both Toronto FC of MLS and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Built as a football-specific stadium, fans will enjoy a more traditionally European-style ground as opposed to some of the older American venues.
Although only 30,000 are able to catch local games, this will be expanded to 45,500 for the World Cup. The Canadian national team have played at the stadium a number of times – and it has also been a World Cup venue at U-20 level for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.