Philadelphia has thrown their hat in the ring and the city’s Mayor Kenney thinks they have a good chance.
The city has bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 following a vote by the 68th FIFA Congress that has awarded the United States, Canada and Mexico the right to host one of soccer’s biggest events.
“I love the World Cup — I love soccer, I love European soccer, American soccer,” Kenney said. “It’s terrific for us as a city to continue creating relationships and building relationships with foreign countries and cities.”
Philly is among 22 other cities who have all placed their bid to be part of the action as the United States is slated to host 60 matches with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 matches each for the 2026 event that will feature 48 teams all vying for the cup.
Other contenders among Philadelphia include Boston, New York, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
Mayor Kenney believes Philadelphia is up for the job given the city’s ability in the past to host large venues.
“We’ve been running big events now for quite some time, from the Pope to the DNC to the NFL draft to the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade,” Kenney said, “I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field gives the city a huge advantage as it provides enough seating and a great field for soccer matches.
Mayor Kenney also believes transportation for those attending the World Cup 2026 wouldn’t be an issue even if Philly resident aren’t the biggest of fans when it comes to SEPTA.
“When you live here, it’s easy to be negative with things,” Kenney said. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the closer you are sometimes to things, the more cranky you can get. But SEPTA does a pretty good job.”
FIFA is scheduled to officially decide the host cities in 2020 or 2021.