18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
There are 16 host venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, with two in Canada, three in Mexico and 11 in the USA.
The 16 host cities have been split into three regions (West, Central and East). For example, Vancouver has been placed in the West region alongside Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle, while Guadalajara is in the Central region with the likes of Dallas, Houston and Miami.
The USA last hosted the World Cup in 1994, and it is worth noting that none of the stadiums used in that tournament will be a host venue for the 2026 edition.
So, let’s take a fresh look at the 16 stadiums and rank them accordingly.
Find out below which stadium we have ranked as the number one host venue for the upcoming World Cup.
16. Gillette Stadium
Location: Foxborough, Massachusetts
Gillette Stadium is renowned as the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, but it is also the venue for New England Revolution’s home matches in the MLS.
Opened in 2002, Patriots and Revolution’s matches were originally played on a grass surface. However, since 2006, the surface has changed to FieldTurf, which is a form of artificial turf. This holds Gillette Stadium back from moving up the rankings.
As well as this, the stadium is located 22 miles away from Boston, Massachusetts and is closer to Providence, Rhode Island. This is slightly misleading as Gillette Stadium was listed as the host city, Boston, during the bidding process.
15. NRG Stadium
Location: Houston, Texas
Houston Texans of the NFL play their home matches at the NRG Stadium, which was opened in 2002. The stadium has hosted the Super Bowl in 2004 and 2017.
The turf has been artificial since 2015 and will be converted to real grass in time for the World Cup in 2026. NRG Stadium has a retractable roof that keeps the venue cool and allows light in so that natural grass can grow during the Texan summer, which experiences extremely high temperatures.
The stadium was designed by Populous and became the first NFL ground to install a retractable roof.
On May 8, 2003, 69,582 attended an international football friendly match between the USA and Mexico, which ended 0-0. This is the highest attendance recorded for a football match at NRG Stadium.
14. MetLife Stadium
Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Listed as the representative stadium for the cities New York and New Jersey, MetLife Stadium is the second biggest US stadium that will host matches in the 2026 World Cup.
MetLife Stadium is the home of NFL teams, the New York Giants and New York Jets. In 2014, the ground hosted Super Bowl XLVIII, played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
Football matches have taken place at the stadium previously, notably on May 7, 2010, when Mexico played Ecuador in a friendly match, which saw 77,507 people attend.
MetLife Stadium is a facility committed to environmental sustainability. In 2021, it became the first NFL stadium to join the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Sports for Climate Action Framework. The goal of this framework is to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
13. BC Place
Location: Vancouver, BC
BC Place is a multi-sports venue which hosted football, rugby, baseball and Canadian football matches in the past. Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS have played their home matches at BC Place since 2011.
Nicknamed “The Dome” as the ground is the largest air-supported domed stadium in the world, DC Place has hosted major concerts such as Madonna, Taylor Swift and U2.
Like the AT&T Stadium, BC Place has a large HDTV screen in the centre of the venue, which is the largest in Canada.
On June 20, 1983, Vancouver Whitecaps played Seattle Sounders in front of 60,342, which was the first sporting event at BC Place.
12. AT&T Stadium
Location: Arlington, Texas
Capacity: 80-000 to 105,000
The construction cost of AT&T Stadium was $1.4 billion, and the Texas-based facility can accommodate over 100,000 spectators. Included in the stadium is a HDTV screen in the middle of the venue, which cost $40 million each is the largest in the world.
On February 14, 2010, AT&T Stadium hosted the NBA All-Star Game, and the attendance was 108,713. This was the highest in basketball history.
The stadium has hosted numerous games in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and will host three matches in the upcoming 2024 Copa América, including a quarter-final game.
It has been heavily rumoured that AT&T Stadium is a potential venue for the 2026 World Cup final. The main competition will be MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, however a final decision has not been officially announced yet.
11. SoFi Stadium
Location: Inglewood, California
Capacity: 70,240 – 100,240
SoFi Stadium is the newest stadium among the 2026 World Cup venues. Home to the NFL’s Los Angeles and Los Angeles Chargers, SoFi Stadium is one of the most spectacular stadiums in this list.
An impressive feature of the stadium is the 70,000-foot video board, which is the biggest ever designed for a sports venue. Also, there is a translucent roof, known as ‘the Oculus’ and is open on three sides to allow natural sunlight to penetrate the stadium.
However, there are concerns over the pitch size of the SoFi Stadium for football matches. The pitch is currently not wide enough for a regulation football game, as it is predominantly used for American football. American football requires much narrower pitch dimensions, meaning the stadium has some work to do before 2026 to fulfil the requirements.
10. Mercedez-Benz Stadium
Location: Atlanta, GA
Mercedez-Benz Stadium is the home of Atlanta United in the MLS, which had the highest average attendance in the league in 2023. For 17 games in 2023, their average attendance was 47,526.
In 2019, the stadium hosted Super Bowl LIII, contested between New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
One of the distinctive features about Mercedez-Benz Stadium is the retractable roof. The roof consists of eight triangular steel panels, which can open and close in just seven minutes.
Fans looking for quick Wi-Fi access will have to look no further than Mercedez-Benz Stadium. There are more than 1,800 wireless Wi-Fi points around the ground, which is the most in the NFL by more than 500.
9. BMO Field
Location: Toronto, ON
BMO Field has a capacity of 30,000 for Toronto FC’s home games in the MLS. However, the stadium will be expanded to 45,500 to meet FIFA’s minimum capacity requirements.
From 2014 to 2016, there were significant renovations to the stadium, mainly to make the ground more suited to hosting Canadian football matches. This included a roof, which covers three sides of the stadium, to provide protection from rain and adverse weather conditions. The overall construction cost of these renovations was $120 million.
BMO Field has held the MLS Cup three times, in 2010, 2016 and 2017, as well as hosting matches in the 2015 and 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
8. Lumen Field
Location: Seattle, Washington
Lumen Field is another stadium that needs to be converted from artificial to real grass for the World Cup and is the home of MLS side, Seattle Sounders. The Seattle Seahawks of the NFL have also played their home games here since 2002.
The stadium is an open-air design that features a 760 feet long roof, which protects 70 percent of the seats. This helps to build the atmosphere inside the stadium, which the Seatle Sounders supporters group dubbed “Emerald City Supporters” are well-known for.
Lumen Field sold out for the first time on Wednesday, July 23, 2003, when Manchester United played Celtic in a pre-season friendly, which saw 66,772 fans attend.
7. Lincoln Financial Field
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Eagles have played their NFL home games here since 2003, and the overall construction cost of the stadium was $512 million.
Although Lincoln Financial Field is an American football stadium, the first ticketed event held at the venue was a football match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona.
The stadium has also hosted CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, including the two quarter-final matches in 2009.
This might be one of the best venues for food, given that the stadium serves up the famous ‘Philly Cheesesteak’ in stands such as Tony Luke’s and Chickie’s & Pete’s. There are also a wide range of meat-free options at the stadium, leaving fans spoiled for choice.
6. Levi’s Stadium
Location: Santa Clara, California
Since 2014, Levi’s Stadium has been the home of the San Francisco 49ers, who play in the NFL. Although the stadium is predominately an American football stadium, football matches have been played there previously.
Notably, in 2017, the stadium hosted the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, where USA beat Jamaica 2-1 in front of 63,032 fans. As well as this, high-profile pre-season friendlies have been held at the stadium, including Manchester United against Real Madrid on July 23, 2017.
Levi’s Stadium consistently promotes sustainability and around the stadium, there are dashboards displaying energy measurements and water and air monitors. There is also a “Green Roof” above the stadium’s suite tower, which is a garden that includes 16 species of vegetation native to the area.
A feature of the stadium is a smartphone app, which helps guide people to the most convenient parking spot, order food and drink to their seat, as well as show them instant replays of the action during the match.
5. Arrowhead Stadium
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs have played at this stadium since 1972. However, from 1996 to 2007, the MLS team Kansas City Wizards played their home matches here.
Renowned for its pre-match atmosphere due to tailgating parties before American football matches, Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest sporting venues in America.
On September 29, 2014, the loudest noise by a crowd at a sporting venue in The Guinness World Records was recorded as the decibel level at the stadium reached a peak of 142.2.
The stadium has undergone renovations in recent years, including in 2010 when seats were upgraded, new concourses were built, and the overall facilities were improved to provide a modern matchday experience for fans.
4. Estadio BBVA
Location: Guadalupe, Nuevo León
Unlike most of this list, Estadio BBVA was built for football specifically and is the home of C.F. Monterrey, who play in Liga MX.
Populous helped to design the stadium and wanted fans to be extremely close to the pitch. The grandstands around the ground are built 34 degrees above the pitch, which is the minimum distance allowed under FIFA regulations.
As well as this, there are more premium seating options than any other football stadium in the world at Estadio BBVA.
In 2022, the stadium hosted the CONCACAF Women’s Championship final where USA beat Canada 1-0.
Estadio BBVA has also held concerts in recent years, most notably Justin Bieber, Coldplay and The Weeknd.
3. Estadio Akron
Location: Zapopan, Jalsico
Previously known as Estadio Omnilife and Estadio Chivas due to sponsorship reasons, Estadio Akron is the home of C.D. Guadalajara.
The stadium has only hosted one Mexico match, which was back in 2010 when they lost 2-1 to Ecuador in a friendly. Also, the Pan American Games opening and closing ceremonies were held at this venue.
Estadio Akron has a retractable roof, as well as an extensive sound system. The stadium is a unique oval shape and is built into a hill covered by grass.
In July 2012, the pitch was changed from artificial turf to natural grass, meaning the grass will not have to be replaced like other host venues.
2. Hard Rock Stadium
Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Hard Rock Stadium is the home of the NFL team Miami Dolphins and has hosted six Super Bowls.
The stadium has had numerous names, such as Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Land Shark Stadium and SunLife Stadium. However, in August 2016, Hard Rock Café Inc. signed a lucrative contract to gain naming rights to the stadium.
Hard Rock’s modern architecture, location and roof to protect fans from the blistering Miami heat in the summer make this stadium a close second in the overall ranking of the 16 stadiums.
F1 races, baseball games, football matches and concerts have been held at Hard Rock Stadium in recent years, highlighting the versatility and modernity of the Miami-based venue.
The highest attendance recorded for a football match at the stadium was on September 5, 2014, when Brazil beat Colombia 1-0 in front of 73,429 people.
1. Estadio Azteca
Location: Tlapan, Mexico City
The number one ranking goes to the largest stadium in Mexico, which is the iconic Estadio Azteca. Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God goal” in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England and Brazil’s 4-1 victory against Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final took place at the Azteca.
Estadio Azteca also has a record attendance of 119,853 in July 1968, when Mexico faced Brazil. The stadium also hosted other sports, such as boxing and American football. On February 20, 1993, 132,247 people attended the fight between Julio César Chávez and Greg Haugen. Also, the stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies in the 1968 Summer Olympics.
This is the oldest stadium out of the 16 venues for the 2026 World Cup, but renovations in 2016 saw the stadium introduce new hospitality areas, media boxes and state-of-the-art dugouts for players and staff members.
Estadio Azteca has seen legendary goals and moments on the pitch, and with the modern architectural changes to the ground in recent years, it takes number one spot.
Summary of World Cup Venues:
The 16 host venues are set to put a striking visual spectacle for fans at home and in the stadiums.
Unlike the 1994 World Cup, the USA will have Canada and Mexico this time as joint hosts to put on the biggest sporting event in the world.
Let us know how you would rank the 16 World Cup stadiums for 2026.