Philadelphia to host 2026 FIFA World Cup – CBS Philadelphia


Philadelphia to host 2026 FIFA World Cup - CBS Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The stage is set. Philadelphia has been named as one of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

A watch party was thrown at LOVE Park in Center City and football fans exploded with excitement as their city was named a World Cup host city.

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“Yes finally the real fans can show the world how awesome they really are,” said one fan.

“It was such hype, it was like the best party ever. Everyone here in Philly is looking forward to it. There are people walking by who aren’t even football fans, Union fans, and they’re hype for that too,” said one fan.

Fans were a little nervous while waiting for the announcement.

“I had a bad stomach, but I knew in my heart we had it,” said one fan.

Even Mayor Jim Kenney was a little nervous.

“I was wondering what, God forbid, we didn’t understand, what we’re going to do with all these people out here, and how to get back to City Hall. But there was a time in my life when I was more relieved. That’s when Tom Brady took that Hail Mary pass in Minnesota,” Kenney said, referring to the Eagles’ win in Super Bowl 52.

Aside from the games, city officials say this bid is great for business and a major boost to the local economy.

And when 2026 comes…

“I’m so pumped. This will be a historic moment for Philly, it will be a historic moment for everyone here,” said one fan.

World Cup games in Philadelphia are played on the grass at Lincoln Financial Field. The Linc features pristine natural grass that is ideal for world-class soccer stars and has been a big part of the city’s pitch for FIFA.

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It also has almost 70,000 seats, a perfect place for thousands of football fans from all over the world.

Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie says the organization is “thrilled” the World Championship is coming to Philadelphia.

“We are proud to host the competition at the highest level in front of a global audience,” said Lurie. “The City of Philadelphia and Lincoln Financial Field are well prepared to deliver an unforgettable experience for the international football community in 2026.”

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will also be hosted in Canada and Mexico.

FIFA announced the host cities for 2026 on Thursday: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto and other Vancouver.

CBS3’s Pat Gallen previously spoke to Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin about the city’s selection to host the 2026 World Cup.

“I’ve heard little hints in various insider articles that we’re in a good place after perhaps being picked an underdog in typical Philadelphia Union fashion for the 2026 World Cup, but if it comes to success international folks will come to experience it You all the great things we have here. All the culture, all the big passionate fan base that we have here. It’s going to be something very special. It would make me proud as a selfish Philadelphian, and I think it has to be 100% Philly involved in the World Cup,” Curtin said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement calling it an “incredible victory for Philadelphia.”

This is an incredible victory for Philadelphia and sets the stage for an unprecedented year for our city in 2026. FIFA has recognized what we all know to be true: Philadelphia is a welcoming, world-class city and we have the experience to create a fantastic experience to offer teams, fans and sponsors alike. A tremendous amount of work has been done over the past five years on behalf of this application, particularly as we have overcome multi-year delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very proud of the exceptional work we have presented to FIFA and I am grateful to the many partners who have come together to support this bid including the PHLCVB who led the prosecution leading to United’s bid in dating back to 2016-17 and the Philadelphia Eagles who made Lincoln Financial Field such a spectacular venue. I would particularly like to thank Ambassadors David L. Cohen and Dan Hilferty, who have served as passionate chairs for this bid. Their commitment to the vitality and prosperity of our city cannot be overstated, and FIFA’s selection of Philadelphia as the host city reflects the power of their leadership. We owe them a debt of gratitude for that and much more.

Now it’s the waiting game for soccer fans around the world. The summer of 2026 and the World Cup will be here before we know it.

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CBS3’s Kerri Corrado and Alyssa Adams contributed to this report.

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