The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada has said that it has shortlisted 49 stadiums as potential venues for inclusion in its bid to stage the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
The three countries recently announced that they would launch a joint bid to host the national team football tournament, with games to be staged at venues in all three countries.
In an effort to push forward with bid plans, the United Bid Committee will send requests for information to 44 cities to seek interest in taking part in the effort and putting forward stadiums for consideration.
Venues that feature on the initial list include the 105,000-capacity AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, in the US, as well as 87,000-seater Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and the 61,000-capacity Stade Olympique in the Canadian city of Montreal.
The United Bid Committee intends to include between 20 and 25 venues in its final bid proposal. All stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group stage games, and a capacity of at least 80,000 for the opening match and the final.
Should the joint bid prove to be successful, 12 locations could ultimately serve as official host cities for the 2026 World Cup. However, if a city does not make this list, there may be an opportunity for the location to be involved in the World Cup in another capacity, such as serving as a team base.
John Kristick, executive director of the said United Bid Committee, said: “The host cities included in our bid will be critical to its success — not only because of their facilities and ability to stage major events, but because they are committed to further developing the sport of soccer by harnessing the impact of hosting a Fifa World Cup — and looking beyond the game itself to make a positive contribution to our communities and the world.
“We have had a great response so far and we’re looking forward to working closely with each city and determining the best venues for our official bid that we’ll submit next year.”
Image: US Soccer