5,000km travel, 16 cities - Fifa World Cup 2026 in US, Canada and Mexico

Everything you need to know about the showpiece event, including capacity of stadiums that will host matches

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The 2022 World Cup is all set to take place in Qatar later this year, with fans across the globe jostling to finalise their plans for the first global finals in the Middle East.

The Qatar World Cup is set to take place at eight venues in the Gulf nation, all within a 50km radius of Doha.

That should make it fairly comfortable for fans and teams at the tournament. Which can't said about the next destination for the Fifa World Cup - the US, Canada and Mexico.

North America has been chosen to host the next global finals and 16 venues for the showpiece event were announced by the governing body on Friday.

Hosting the World Cup across the length and breadth of the US and at neighbouring countries poses a unique challenge - distance and time zones.

The United States is a vast country, with nine time zones and a difference of three hours from coast to coast. Add to the mix matches in Mexico and Canada, and the enormity of the task becomes clear.

Fifa knew about the challenges when it announced the host cities in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle (US), Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey (Mexico) and Toronto, Vancouver (Canada).

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said the governing body was looking at basing teams in regional "clusters" to minimise travel.

"When you're dealing with such a large region as North America we need to care about the fans and make sure that teams are playing in clusters, that fans and teams don't have to travel crazy distances," Infantino said.

For example, the distance between San Fransisco and Boston is a little under 5,000km by road and six-and-a-half hours by flight. The distance between Vancouver and New York is around 4,800 km. Mexico City is closer to central America, which will make travel a major factor at some point for team, fans and the tournament contingent.

Matches in the US will be staged at venues that are home to NFL teams. Eight of the 11 US stadiums have artificial turf and have promised to install temporary grass. Some venues cannot currently fit the dimensions required for football matches - 68mX105m field - and will require renovations to remove seats near the sidelines.

This World Cup will also see the number of participating teams increase from 32 to 48 as the tournament returns to North America for the first time since USA '94.

The 1994 tournament set records with a 3.59 million total attendance and average of 68,991. The capacities of the US stadiums for 2026 are all 60,000 and higher.

Full list of World Cup 2026 venues and their capacity:

USA

SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles. Capacity 70,000

MetLife Stadium, New Jersey. Capacity 82,500

AT&T Stadium, Dallas. Capacity 80,000

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami. Capacity 65,000

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. Capacity 76,000

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta. Capacity 71,000

Gillette Stadium, Boston. Capacity 65,000

NRG Stadium, Houston. Capacity 72,000

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia. Capacity 67,000

Levi's Stadium, San Francisco Bay Area. Capacity 68,000

Lumen Field, Seattle. Capacity 72,000

MEXICO

Azteca Stadium, Mexico City. Capacity 87,000

Estadio Akron, Guadalajara. Capacity 46,000

Estadio BBVA, Monterrey. Capacity 51,000

CANADA

BMO Field, Toronto. Capacity 30,000

BC Place, Vancouver. Capacity 54,000

Eight venues of Qatar World Cup 2022 and their capacity

Updated: November 24, 2022, 8:01 PM
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