Atlanta officially enters bid to host 2026 World Cup

ATLANTA — In 2026, the FIFA World Cup is coming to the United States, Canada and Mexico. The games will be played in 16 yet-to-be-named cities -- and Atlanta wants to be one of them.

On Tuesday, the city of Atlanta said it was in the bidding process “to have the honor of serving as an Official Host City of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

“Atlanta offers the best that any city can offer—rich culture and diversity, support of human rights issues and a history of successfully hosting national and international events – which makes the city a natural place to host the FIFA World Cup,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Thank you to the FIFA Organizing Committee for considering Atlanta as a Host City for the 2026 competition.”

Twenty-three cities across North America were submitted as part of the successful bid, but likely only 16 cities – 10 in the United States, three in Canada and three in Mexico – will be selected by FIFA as official host cities.


Atlanta is no stranger to hosting large-scale sporting events. In addition to hosting the historic 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, the city has hosted three Super Bowl games, four NCAA Men’s Final Four tournaments and 24 consecutive Southeastern Conference football championship games.

In 2017, Channel 2 Action News learned that Atlanta had been contacted about the 2026 World Cup.

“Started reaching out, and in our case in the U.S., reached out to us to just start asking some questions if interested in moving forward in the bid process with them,” said Dan Corso, President of the Atlanta Sports Council.

The hope is to land a semi-final or even the final match.

The games would be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We can have a full-size FIFA pitch here, one of the things that can make this one of the top venues when the World Cup comes to America,” a crew member said during a tour of the stadium.

A World Cup could bring a big boost to the city.

“There’s a huge economic side and impact to hosting a World Cup, but also a great social impact,” Corso said.

In 2018, Channel 2 Action News learned five FIFA officials toured the training facilities in Marietta, did a tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and were shown the Georgia World Congress Center, which would become an international broadcast center for the event.

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