By Victor Kanayo
World soccer governing body, FIFA, Sunday night disclosed the schedule for all the match dates and locations of the biggest-ever men’s World Cup, to be played across Mexico, Canada, and the United States in 2026.
Using an infographic featuring the dates and locations of all the matches in the tournament, FIFA announced that the semi-final will be played in Dallas and Atlanta and quarterfinals in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, and Boston.
Like Never Before
The schedule showed that in the first World Cup to feature 48 teams—up from 32 in 2022—a total of 108 matches will be played across 16 cities in the three host countries, kicking off on Thursday, June 11, 2026, in Mexico City.
This will be Mexico’s third time hosting the men’s tournament, the U.S.’s second, and Canada’s first time hosting.
New Jersey Final Decision
And according to FIFA, the World Cup final will be played in the Greater New York Area on Sunday, July 19, 2026, after the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The decision to stage the final at New Jersey was after its stadium beat bids from other contenders in Dallas and Los Angeles for the privilege to host the most widely viewed sporting event worldwide.
The stadium, located some five miles from New York City, has a capacity of 82,500 spectators and currently hosts the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
The decision came after New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy lobbied for the stadium, citing the international appeal of their region and its vast infrastructure.
Opening Day Party, Hostility
Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will open the tournament on June 11, 2026.
With a capacity of 83,000, the stadium hosted the World Cup opening matches and finals of 1970 and 1986 respectively, and was where Argentina striker Diego Maradona scored the famous “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 quarterfinal.
The 2026 edition of the World Cup is set to be the biggest and most exciting tournament in the history of the sport.