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World Cup 2026: Who plays at Arrowhead Stadium?

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City has been selected as one of the 16 host stadiums for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The prestigious stadium, which has a capacity of 76,416, has been selected to host six matches at the World Cup including one quarter-final.

Arrowhead Stadium is the 25th-largest stadium in the USA based on capacity so it wasn't a guaranteed pick to be a host stadium at the World Cup. What makes the stadium and surrounding area so special? Let's find out.

arrowhead stadium
Arrowhead Stadium will host six World Cup matches in 2026 – Photo by Icon Sport

Who plays at Arrowhead Stadium?

Arrowhead Stadium is currently the home of NFL side, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have risen to prominence in recent years thanks to the brilliance of quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, who is widely considered the best American Football player on the planet. They have won two Super Bowls in the last four years and they are set to play in another one this month.

The popularity of Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs squad has put Arrowhead Stadium in the spotlight with several huge playoff games taking place at the stadium in recent years.

MLS side, The Kansas City Wizards, also played at Arrowhead Stadium from 1996-2007 before they moved to their own stadium when the franchise was rebranded to Sporting Kansas City. Soccer will return to Arrowhead Stadium in April 2024 when Inter Miami face Sporting Kansas City due to the Lionel Messi effect.

What is Arrowhead Stadium like?

Arrowhead Stadium is an impressive stadium that appears larger than it actually is from the inside due to two towering stands that run alongside the side of the pitch. The stands behind both goals are smaller but the stadium is still three-tiered all the way around with hospitality taking up the smaller middle tier.

The stands wrap around each other to make the stadium appear bowl-like but the varying heights of each stand don't make Arrowhead appear like a copy-and-paste job like some modern stadiums do.

For anyone that has ever attended an NFL match at Arrowhead Stadium, or even watched one on television, you will know all about the noise that can be created inside it. Arrowhead is regarded as the noisiest stadium in the USA and while that is thanks in large to the passionate Kansas City support, the way the stadium is built helps sound reverberate around the ground and onto the pitch easily.

In an NFL match between Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots in 2014, the decibel count in the stadium hit 142.2 – a record that still stands today.

NFL at Arrowhead
NFL has been played at Arrowhead Stadium since 1972 – Photo by Icon sport

The history of Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium was first opened in 1972, just a few years after the Chiefs won their first-ever Super Bowl. Over the years, the stadium has been worked on several times to prevent the Chiefs from falling behind the times in an era where new stadiums are being built across the league.

Football-shaped screens were installed at both ends of the stadium in the 1990s to aid the fan experience, while the turf has been changed several times to help players. It was originally astroturf when the stadium first opened but ‘NorthBridge Bermudagrass' is now laid on the pitch – an optimal surface for the low temperatures in Kansas City.

FIFA World Cup matches at Arrowhead Stadium

Six World Cup matches will take place at Arrowhead Stadium. At present, only the USA, Canada and Mexico have qualified for the tournament as host nations so there is no way of knowing who will be playing at Arrowhead, however, their allocated dates are as follows:

Group stages

  • Tuesday, June 16th
  • Saturday, June 20th
  • Thursday, June 25th
  • Saturday, June 27th

Round of 32

  • Friday, July 3rd

Quarterfinal

  • Saturday, July 11th

Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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