US Soccer announced today the first round of cities and stadia being surveyed for potential inclusion in the 2026 World Cup bid; if the cities respond to US Soccer’s Request for Information, they will be included in the evaluation process as the US, Canada, and Mexico work towards submitting their joint bid.
As expected, NFL stadia are the primary venue used in the United States; there are no soccer-specific venues on the list, though three of them (CenturyLink Field, Mercedes Benz Stadium, and Gillette Stadium) are the homes of MLS teams. And there are two potential venues that are located right in our back yards: FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
Setting aside the question of whether or not there will still be a tenant at FedEx Field in 2026, Washington, DC should be at the very top of the list for being a host city given its status as the nation’s capital. That may serve to the detriment of Baltimore, though an East Coast hub of games would help reduce travel for teams and fans.
The candidate cities will prepare their final bids by January, 2018, and the joint bid will be submitted to FIFA in March, 2018, so we will soon know whether or not the World Cup will be happening in the Greater Washington area.