(Image via gillettestadium.com)
Volunteer Writer: Emma Bowser
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football in English), more commonly known as FIFA, has announced that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be taking place in a total of 16 different cities in North America.
According to Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, “16 amazing Host Cities will make all of this even more colorful and exciting as they launch the individual brands developed by FIFA. These unique city identities embody the fun and fantastic people and places that will offer fans an experience like no other in 2026.”
11 of these 16 cities will be in the USA, including Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Boston.
“The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy, the most widely recognised and prized sporting asset globally, was unveiled at the forefront of the FIFA World Cup 26™ Official Brand on Wednesday, 17 May 2023. For the first time in history, an image of the actual trophy and the tournament hosting year is being depicted, forming an innovative design language that anchors the FIFA World Cup emblem for 2026 and beyond. The image of the trophy and the year allow for customisation to reflect the uniqueness of each host, while building an identifiable brand structure for years to come.”
“Today, Massachusetts is second only to California in registered football players, with a total of 242,000 athletes playing the game.” Football is very popular in Massachusetts and Boston, with a large number of active clubs participating in scrimmages and tournaments on a regular basis.
Boston is also the location of the Oneida Club, which was the first football club to be established outside of England. The club was founded in 1862 by Gerrit Smith Miller Jr., and the majority of the club’s matches took place in Boston Common.
The club is still alive today and has a public Facebook page.
The city brand for Boston launched with the hashtag “#WeAreBoston” on social media.
A post from the Boston Soccer 2026 Twitter (X) account reads, “Boston is a city of land and sea. A city of innovators and firsts. A city of family, community and heroes. A city of soccer players, and soccer lovers. Boston is a city that is ready for the 2026 World Cup.”
Boston has hosted matches for FIFA World Cup matches three times before: for the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA and for the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held at the Gillette Stadium, located in Foxborough, MA. The stadium has a capacity of 64,628 people, and the stadium area is 1.9 million square feet.
According to the Gillette Stadium website, “The new north end zone videoboard measures 22,000 square feet, making it the largest outdoor curved-radius videoboard at a sports venue in the country.” It has hosted important sports events in the past, such as NFL Superbowls and large concerts for celebrities like Elton John and Doja Cat.
FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers are beginning as early as this year for some football Confederations. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) qualifiers will begin in November.
Additionally, this is the first year that the FIFA World Cup will have a total of forty-eight teams, adding sixteen additional teams to the existing thirty-two.
As the time for the first match draws nearer, excitement grows among fans and players alike. 2026 is going to be a big year for football with the changes to how the FIFA World Cup will operate and be presented.