FIFA tours Atlanta as city pushes to host 2026 World Cup match

ATLANTA — Atlanta will take a big step Friday in its bid toward hosting the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA officials are in town today to tour the city and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

FIFA awarded the 2026 World Cup to a co-bid submitted by the United States, Mexico and Canada. Mexico and Canada will each host 10 matches while the other 60 matches will be in the U.S.

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Ten cities in the U.S., three in Canada and three in Mexico will be selected as hosts. Atlanta officially submitted a bid to host one of the two semifinal matches.

The winning cities are expected to be announced next year, but the bidding process takes months to years.

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Atlanta is no stranger to hosting large-scale sporting events.

In addition to hosting the historic 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, the city has hosted three Super Bowl games, four NCAA Men’s Final Four tournaments and SEC Championship game since 1994.

Atlanta United’s success has shown that the city not only loves soccer, but the crowds have smashed Major League Soccer attendance records since the team started.

FIFA’s visit Friday is the third stop on the delegation’s tour of potential U.S. hosts after officials visited Boston and Nashville last week.

The tour will also stop in Orlando, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami. FIFA will visit the other eight U.S. cities and cities in Mexico and Canada by the end of the year.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first on U.S. soil since the 1994 World Cup.

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