Chicago (USA), 13 Jan. Less than a month has passed since Argentina was crowned in Qatar’22 and in the United States the economic benefits of being one of the venues for the 2026 World Cup are already noticeable. From Nike to Volkswagen and Deloitte, 100% of the sponsors with that the US Federation (USSF) wanted to renew their contract, they did, according to data to which EFE had access.
The new format, state-of-the-art stadiums and the ‘boom’ of passion for football make the next World Cup a unique business opportunity.
From the Middle East to the New World, the World Cup returns to America in 2026, with the United States, Canada and Mexico as venues. ‘US Soccer’, which lived a historic 2022 with the signing of the equal salary agreement between the women’s and men’s teams, has already invested in the next four-year period. New president, new legal director and new commercial director. An elite team that has already signed a million-dollar contract with ‘Turner Sports’, part of the colossus Warner, for the rights to the matches of the US team in English.
In recent months, US Soccer closed negotiations with brands such as Nike, Volkswagen, Deloitte, Chipotle, Allstate, Anheuser Busch, among others, to work together for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2026 Men’s World Cup.
In addition, with the beginning of 2023, the return of commercial rights became official, which for twenty years were managed by the organization ‘Soccer United Marketing’.
The Federation once again has bargaining power in fundamental areas such as media rights, sponsorship or consumer products. With the incentive of the World Cup, in USSF there is the conviction of being able to take significant steps forward at an economic and sporting level.
THE GREATEST WORLD CUP EVER
A new format, with 48 teams instead of 32, the United States, Mexico and Canada as host countries and almost 5,000 kilometers between Vancouver, the northernmost venue, and Mexico City, the southernmost: this will be the 2026 World Cup, the next chapter in the glorious World Cup history.
It will be a record World Cup, due to the number of teams, 48 for the first time, and due to the enormous distances between the 16 venues, 11 in the United States, two in Canada and three in Mexico, which will become the first country to organize three editions of a World Cup, after 1970 and 1986.
The legend of the Azteca stadium in Mexico City, the ‘glamour’ of the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, new cradles of American ‘soccer’ such as Atlanta, Houston or Kansas City will host a tournament that will be held again in June and July and that in The United States is seen as a turning point to definitively add soccer to the list of national sports.
The kingdom of Argentina, the new opportunity for Spain, which was a quarterfinalist in USA’94, the possible return of Italy, four times World Champion, but absent in the last two editions, or the last train of Neymar Junior add excitement and expectation for the new tournament.
2026, THE YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION
The vertical growth of MLS, which no longer only attracts declining stars, but also young talents looking for a springboard to establish themselves, and the good performance of the US team in Qatar boosts enthusiasm in a country that is already infecting with the passion for soccer.
Both in the MLS leadership and among the league’s soccer players, there is no doubt that 2026 will be the year of the revolution for American soccer.
“The experience of the United States in Qatar is going to be key in 2026. They are going to play something big at home and hopefully they will reach the World Cup final,” said Alejandro Bedoya, captain of the Philadelphia Union, in a recent interview with EFE.
“In 2026, when the players are going to come here for the World Cup from the United States, Canada and Mexico, they are going to see the level of the facilities and they are going to want to stay here. That may be the definitive step to attract the stars,” Alfonso Mondelo, MLS sports director, told EFE.
THE CHARGE OF THE 100,000 IN THE SOFI STADIUM OF THE
The United States will be the heart of the 2026 World Cup with eleven host cities and a mix of iconic stadiums and ultra-modern facilities that will add sparkle to the competition.
It will go from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford (New Jersey) to the magnificent SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, with capacity for 100,000 spectators. The NFL home of the Rams and Chargers has already hosted the 2022 Super Bowl and will be an unbeatable showcase for World Cup games.
FIFA also approved the candidatures of cities with a relatively new football culture, but full of enthusiasm, such as Atlanta, with its Mercedes Benz Arena, Kansas City or Miami, which made available the 64,000 seats of the Hard Rock Stadium.
THE RETURN OF THE AZTECA, THE DEBUT OF CANADA
The myth of the Azteca stadium will return, the theater of the 1970 Brazil-Italy final, of that glorious header by the Brazilian Édson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pelé’, and of the great goal by the Argentine Diego Armando Maradona against England in 1986.
Mexico City, Guadalajara, with the Akron stadium, and Monterrey, with the BBVA stadium, will be the Mexican venues for a World Cup in which Canada will debut as the host country.
After the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the North American country will host matches of the 2026 World Cup in Toronto and Vancouver. ‘Canada Soccer’, with stars like Alphonso Davis or Jonathan David, is also taking leaps and bounds in its soccer culture.
Three and a half years of intense work remain for the spotlight to come back on at the World Cup, this time in the ‘New World’, for the biggest event ever.