Seattle will be one of 16 North American host cities for the men’s 2026 FIFA men’s World Cup as announced today by tournament officials. Vancouver, B.C. was also selected as a host city.
The 2026 FIFA men’s World Cup will see 48 teams compete for the highly-coveted championship, which draws around a billion viewers every four years. The World Cup is one of the largest professional sporting events in the world. Today’s announcement is a huge win for tourism in Washington state.
“Seattle’s hotels are excited to welcome guests from around the world for this special moment,” said Bill Weise, president of the Seattle Hotel Association. “We look forward to sharing our beautiful city with soccer fans from around the world.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity to share Seattle’s food culture with the world,” said Steve Hooper, president of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance. “We look forward to providing a warm welcome to returning and new visitors.”
Seattle has become known for its strong support for professional soccer. Fans recently set a new attendance record for a CONCACAF Champions League final. Nearly 69,000 Sounders FC fans saw their home team become the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF championship.
A 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group found hosting the tournament could result in more than $5 billion in short-term economic activity, with individual host cities seeing up to $480 million after accounting for potential public costs.