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First men’s World Cup contested on American soil in 32 years will bring estimated 450,000 visitors and projected economic impact of up to $500 million to Boston
BOSTON – FIFA tonight announced Boston as one of the cities selected to host FIFA World Cup 2026TM, the first men’s World Cup contended in North America since 1994.
Each host city is projected to host four to six matches over the course of the tournament. Boston will also host fan fests throughout the city, providing fans with or without match tickets the opportunity to engage and enjoy a festival atmosphere with fans from around the world. The Boston Consulting Group’s research has estimated that Boston can expect an estimated 450,000 visitors hailing from Europe, South America and across the globe, with a projected net economic impact of up to $500 million.
In the most competitive selection process in FIFA World Cup history, Boston was selected from a field of 22 finalist cities across Mexico, Canada and the United States. Gillette Stadium will serve as the venue for all matches hosted in Boston. FIFA evaluated each candidate host city based on city and state infrastructure, transportation (airports, train, roadways), human rights, stadium infrastructure, fan fest locations and training sites. The Boston Soccer 2026 committee who worked on the united Boston bid consists of representatives from the City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Boston Sports Partnership, Kraft Sports & Entertainment and the New England Revolution.
“We are thrilled to welcome FIFA World Cup Soccer back to Massachusetts in 2026,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The teams and their fans from around the world will be welcomed by the Commonwealth’s restaurants and attractions both in Boston and beyond and we are appreciative of Robert Kraft for his efforts as Honorary Chair of the United Bid to help bring the World Cup back to the United States, as well as the Boston Soccer 2026 Committee for its tireless work to secure Boston as a host city.”
“The City of Boston is excited to once again welcome the worldwide soccer community and visitors as the FIFA World Cup returns to Massachusetts,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re proud of our long legacy of championship teams and fans, and we’re ready to showcase our city to soccer fans around the world as they come to celebrate the beautiful game.”
“The FIFA World Cup is a global event and our world class city is ecstatic to once again host these iconic matches,” said Martha J. Sheridan, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to welcome fans from across our continent and beyond to the Commonwealth, where they will experience our rich and vibrant culture, and of course an amazing sports scene. Hosting these matches will inject tremendous spending into our visitor economy, which will ripple out across the region.”
Boston boasts a rich history of international soccer including three previous editions of soccer’s premier global tournament. The FIFA World Cup was last held in the United States in 1994, with Boston serving as one of nine host cities with historic matches including a Quarterfinal between Spain and Italy, before also hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2003.
FIFA World Cup 2026™ will be the largest to date, with 80 matches across three countries featuring 48 teams from around the world. The qualification process will take place between 2023 and 2025, with over 200 countries vying to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026™. The draw will then take place in late 2025 or early 2026. Following the draw, FIFA will manage the ticket sales process and additional information will be shared at that time.