Officials: Seattle in the running for 2026 World Cup matches

Puget Sound leaders held a press conference after FIFA announced the U.S., Mexico and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup. Seattle is one of 23 candidate host cities. (KOMO News)

North America was chosen Wednesday to host the 2026 World Cup, and officials say Seattle is on a short list of cities where matches may be held.

FIFA member federations voted 134-65 in favor of the joint North American bid over Morocco. It will be the first time in 32 years that the World Cup has been held in North America.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino called it "a nice message" that the United States, Canada and Mexico will work together to host the prestigious sporting event.

The outcome was seen an endorsement for the more profitable and stable bid from the North American neighbors instead of a more risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.

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The vote by football federations was public, in contrast to secrecy surrounding the ballot by FIFA's elected board members for the 2018 and 2022 hosts, Russia and Qatar, in 2010. The four countries involved in the bidding and three U.S. territories were not involved in the voting.

The 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams playing a total of 80 games - 60 planned across 10 U.S. cities, and 10 games in three cities for each of Canada and Mexico.

Seattle is considered a likely choice for six of the matches, along with Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Houston and Washington, D.C.

The other U.S. cities in the running are Atlanta, Arlington (Texas), Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, East Rutherford (N.J.), Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, and Pasadena.

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