San Francisco Bay Area, Levi’s® Stadium Selected to Host FIFA World Cup 2026™
FIFA today announced the selection of the San Francisco Bay Area as an official host community for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ that will be played across Canada, Mexico and the United States. In a globally televised live announcement from New York City, the Bay Area was included among the communities that will host matches during the first 48-team field in tournament history. With a record 80 matches, the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is expected to result in millions of dollars in economic impact, hundreds of thousands of fans traveling to the Bay Area, and thousands of full-time jobs.
The announcement confirms Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as the region’s only venue for hosting matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup that is primed to shatter previous attendance records for the event, with more than 2 million tickets forecast to be sold. The record for the highest-attended FIFA World Cup™ in history still dates back to 1994 when the United States – and the Bay Area – hosted the event for the first time. Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto was the region’s first FIFA World Cup™ venue with Levi’s Stadium now set to become the second. Since opening in 2014, Levi’s Stadium has established itself as a popular home for world-class soccer showcases, including the 2016 Copa América Centenario, the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup, and multiple International Champions Cups.
“From 2017 when we first unveiled our participation in the United Bid, to 2021 when we hosted FIFA and showed their delegation around our beautiful region, the Bay Area 2026 Bid team has remained confident that this day would come,” shared Al Guido, 49ers President and Bay Area Host Committee Board President. “Over the past eight years, innovative technology, sustainability and fan-focused design elements have cemented Levi’s Stadium among the premier sports and entertainment venues in the country. This venue was made to host events like the FIFA World Cup™, an event that will generate ongoing economic activity for our region for the next four years and beyond.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to bring the world’s largest sporting event to our passionate and diverse Bay Area community. While we will celebrate today, tomorrow marks the beginning of a long and fulfilling road to our first FIFA World Cup match in 2026,” said Patricia Ernstrom, Bay Area Host Committee Executive Director. “We have enjoyed the process of partnering with FIFA the past few years to get us to this point and we look forward to furthering our relationship as we prepare to put a unique Bay Area stamp on the biggest FIFA World Cup ever.”
Today’s FIFA World Cup™ announcement follows decades of enthusiasm for the sport of soccer in the Bay Area that includes all-time high youth participation and a passionate fanbase for the San Jose Earthquakes, the top-flight local professional team. Levi’s Stadium has also hosted top international club teams including F.C. Barcelona, A.C. Milan, and Chivas.
“Hosting FIFA World Cup matches in the Bay Area will not only bring global visitors to experience all our region has to offer, but it will reinvigorate the ongoing efforts of the San Jose Earthquakes to grow the world’s game in our diverse communities,” said Jared Shawlee, San Jose Earthquakes President. “We are truly excited to be able to incorporate the spirit and mission of the FIFA World Cup and create a lasting community legacy through the sport of soccer in the Bay Area.”
Winning the opportunity to host FIFA World Cup™ matches in 2026 is the culmination of a significant bid process that was capped off with a resolution passed unanimously by the Santa Clara City Council to support the bid. The games are anticipated to be an economic boon to the region and bring millions of dollars in economic impact to hotels, restaurants, and other businesses, and will generate thousands of jobs across the Bay Area.
“Hosting an event like the FIFA World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us and all Santa Clarans who love the game of soccer,” said Karen Hardy, Santa Clara City Councilmember who introduced the City resolution to support the bid. “This is going to bring a jolt of excitement to our community, but it will also be a significant economic boost for the businesses who are coming out of two years of COVID right now and need it more than ever. We’re committed to ensuring that the 2026 FIFA World Cup here will be remembered for decades to come with the sense of pride and accomplishment it deserves.”
Exemplifying the Bay Area’s welcoming and collaborative qualities, the Bay Area 2026 Host Committee has been supported by a wide range of local business and political leaders since 2018. Statements from some of them can be found below:
“The Bay Area and Los Angeles are home to state-of-the-art sports facilities, world class restaurants and hotels, and some of the largest companies anywhere in the world – but what really makes them special are their people. Both the Bay and Los Angeles have incredibly diverse communities that thrive on accepting people and ideas from around the world and have been growing soccer hubs for generations,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California is a beacon of hope for immigrants from across the globe and we’re excited to show the world our global community here in our own backyard as hosts for the World Cup in four years.”
“I’m thrilled that the Bay Area has been chosen as a host venue for the 2026 World Cup and that we’ll have the opportunity to show off our region,” said California State Assembly member Evan Low. “I’ve always been proud of the diversity in our community so to have fans and teams traveling here from around the world is fitting and a deserved celebration of all the cultures in the Bay Area. This will be an enormous economic boost for the region and the excitement of the games will inspire a whole new generation of soccer players.”
Specific details on match dates, times, teams and rounds will be announced in the build up to the event. Fans and those looking to get involved in the Bay Area’s hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ can visit BayArea2026.com.