Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup is boosted this week by the news that Houston will host Premier League Champions Manchester City at the city’s state-of-the-art NRG Stadium on July 20 as part of the Club’s 2022/23 pre-season tour.
Manchester City will play against Club América in their first pre-season fixture at the 72,000 capacity NRG Stadium. The fixture will mark Manchester City’s return to NRG Stadium after taking on Manchester United in July 2017 in the first overseas Manchester derby, demonstrating Houston’s international appeal and proven ability to host global sporting events successfully.
Manchester City’s decision to return to the fourth largest city in the United States for the second time in five years highlights Houston’s track record in providing the ultimate environment for world-class athletes to perform at their best. NRG Stadium has hosted two Super Bowls, two NCAA Men’s Final Fours, Copa America, Gold Cup and various international soccer matches, including the United States Women’s and Men’s National Teams, the Mexican Men’s National Team and major teams from around the world.
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President Chris Canetti said: “The fact that current Premier League Champions Manchester City have chosen to return to the city of Houston twice in five years is evidence of the city’s operational readiness to host global sporting events. Houston’s state-of-the-art NRG Stadium, recognized as the “Best Football Crowd in America” in 2008, will provide an electric atmosphere for fans in the stadium and watching around the world. Ultimately, this is a timely boost as we near a decision on our objective of becoming a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
Houston is one of 17 U.S. cities bidding to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, with FIFA set to decide on the U.S. host cities in June. Houston has hosted more large-scale sporting events than any other candidate host city since 2004, served by tried and tested venues, world-leading medical facilities, vast accommodation capacity and extensive local, domestic and international transport network.