HOUSTON (June 16, 2022): Houston has been selected as one of the 11 U.S. host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, FIFA announced today.
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee leaders gathered at the Partnership Tower to watch the announcement TV show, live streamed from New York City, and celebrated the honor of being awarded the opportunity to host the world’s most prestigious sporting event.
The Spirit of Houston has been on full display throughout the bid process. Houston’s passion for soccer was showcased as the community rallied together to support the city’s bid to deliver a World Cup of the Future, in America’s City of the Future.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said:
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the bid committee and many others. We are honored and excited to be awarded the opportunity to welcome sports fans worldwide to experience the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Houston. Our city’s diverse, community-driven, and innovative standing will deliver a memorable FIFA World Cup experience for the players, fans, and everyone involved. The FIFA World Cup will leave a legacy for the people in this city for generations to come.”
Harris County-Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke said:
“We are delighted that the most popular sporting event in the world is coming to our city in 2026. This is a city of soccer, full of passionate fans, representing every corner of the world. The 2026 FIFA World Cup in Houston will be a truly global festival of soccer on and off the field and will create sustainable benefits for the entire community way beyond the final whistle.”
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee Chair John Arnold said:
“This is a momentous day for Houstonians, who have worked hand-in-hand to create a bid that is perfectly tailored to the goals of FIFA and US Soccer. We are very excited for the journey ahead and look forward to continuing our important initiatives to grow the game so that future generations in this city can look back at 2026 as a real catalyst for positive change.”
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee board member Michael Heckman said:
“Houston is the premier destination for hosting major events and embraces every opportunity to engage with a diverse and global audience. In a city where 1 in 4 of our residents are from another part of the world, visitors will feel an immediate sense of our welcoming spirit. Hosting the FIFA World Cup matches in 2026 will be a tremendous opportunity to show the world what our great city has to offer,” said Michael Heckman, President & CEO, Houston First Corporation.
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President Chris Canetti said:
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be selected as a host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup alongside so many great cities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The Houston community has truly backed our bid and is ready to welcome players and fans from all over the world for the World Cup. We are grateful to FIFA for recognizing the modern, sustainable and forward-thinking bid we have built and for allowing us to continue creating a lasting legacy.”
Legacy has been at the core of Houston’s bid from the very start. Houston 2026 has launched a $6 million campaign with U.S. Soccer Foundation to create 30 mini-pitches throughout the region to help grow the game and positively impact the lives of local youth. Houston Dynamo FC and Dash owner Ted Segal also provided financial backing for two grassroots youth soccer programs.
Through initiatives such as the Soccer Innovation Institute, Houston 2026 will continue its important work to create a lasting legacy to benefit generations to come through soccer. Houston will use the power of soccer to address critical social issues through three key pillars: Growing the game for all, enhancing the fan experience and impacting social and environmental responsibility.
Houston’s world-class hosting credentials, infrastructure and energizing venues like NRG Stadium have hosted multiple large-scale sporting events and will provide the ultimate environment for international players to perform at their best. Houston will ensure full stadiums and a truly global celebration of soccer, in and out of competition.
Houston is set to host World Cup matches alongside ten other cities in the U.S., three in Mexico and two in Canada, respectfully, set to kick off in the summer of 2026. For the first time, the tournament will feature 48 teams, expanding the world’s biggest and most popular sporting event.