Soccer’s grandest international tournament will be hosted jointly by the United States, Canada, and Mexico four years from now, and Thursday marked the unveiling of the 16 host cities. Of the selected cities, 11 were US-based, 3 from Mexico, and 2 from Canada. Seattle and Lumen Field submitted a bid, and that bid was a winner!
“We are proud and honored to have Lumen Field selected as a host venue for the FIFA World Cup 2026,” said Chuck Arnold, president of the Seahawks and First & Goal, Inc. “Lumen Field was truly built for this, and we can’t wait to show fans from around the globe the electric, energizing atmosphere our stadium is known for. We are grateful to FIFA for recognizing Lumen Field as one of North America’s most premier sports and entertainment venues and entrusting us to host such a prestigious international event.”
If you’re not a soccer follower, the Sounders are one of the most successful clubs in North America and just won the CONCACAF Champions League, something no other MLS team has accomplished since the current format was implemented in 2008. Beyond the two MLS Cup titles and four U.S. Open Cup trophies, the fanbase for the Sounders is consistently one of the league’s best and the stadium creates an atmosphere that’s as vibrant as Seahawks games. From 2013-2018, average attendance for league matches was top-30 among all club teams in the world.
We’ll find out down the line how many matches and whether or not they’ll get any knockout stage games. The 2026 edition will expand to 48 teams divided into 16 groups, with knockout rounds expanding to a Round of 32 instead of the current Round of 16.
As for the other host cities, the rest of the NFC West except the Arizona Cardinals will also serve as World Cup hosts. Even FIFA clearly saw the history of Seahawks injuries at that stadium and decided it wasn’t worth the risk to have World Cup matches there.