Bay Area will make its bid this weekend to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches
SANTA CLARA — The 2026 FIFA World Cup could be coming to the Bay Area.
Levi’s Stadium is being considered as a potential host for the World Cup, and its pitch to soccer’s governing body comes this weekend.
FIFA officials are scheduled to visit the 49ers’ stadium on Friday and Saturday to assess the venue’s capabilities to be a host. The site visit will be hosted by the Bay Area Host Committee, which consists of the 49ers, as well as several Bay Area businesses like Airbnb, Google, Lyft, Peet’s Coffee and political figures San Francisco mayor London Breed, San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted in 16 different cities across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Right now, 22 cities are currently under consideration to host. The host cities will be announced in early 2022.
The 2026 edition will be the first to include 48 teams rather than the current 32, meaning that there will be a total of 80 matches — 60 in the U.S., with 10 each in Canada and Mexico.
The Bay Area has served as a host to several FIFA World Cup matches in the past. In 1999, the U.S. beat Brazil in the Women’s World Cup semifinal at Stanford Stadium before winning gold at the Rose Bowl on Brandi Chastain’s iconic penalty kick. Earlier games in that tournament were played at San Jose’s Spartan Stadium.
“The 49ers have been proud stewards of the Bay Area for decades, and we’ve seen time after time how one of the most diverse regions in the world gets excited about major sporting events,” 49ers president Al Guido said in a statement. “The excitement and community spirit unique to the Bay Area has been directed at soccer for generations, going back to the FIFA World Cup matches the area hosted in 1994 and 1999, which were a huge success.
“There’s no doubt in my mind the 2026 FIFA World Cup would inspire an even bigger response, and we’re honored to be leading the Bay Area’s bid to host this exciting, crowd-drawing event.”