Why San Francisco Should Host the 2026 World Cup

San Francisco is among 16 United States cities in the running to host 2026 World Cup matches.

On June 16, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) will announce the cities selected to host matches, with options from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Both the US and Mexico have hosted the FIFA World Cup previously. The U.S. most recently in 1994, and Mexico in 1986.

San Francisco (and the surrounding area) are among the cities vying to host 2026 World Cup. The region was a host for the 1994 World Cup, with Cup matches played at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, located 35 miles south of San Francisco.

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The Top Reasons San Francisco Should Host FIFA World Cup Matches

Multiple Urban Centers

Unique to possible host cities in North America, the Bay Area offers four distinct and sophisticated urban centers: San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, and San Jose. Situated essentially at the four points of the San Francisco Bay (northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast), the cities can accommodate visitors and serve as a nested hub for the World Cup, which attracts fans from across the globe.

In a study done in 2021 by 42 Floors, the Bay Area has proposed Fan Fest Venues with a combined capacity of 175,000. That is the fourth highest amongst all of the host finalists.

World-Class Cuisine & Culture

Speaking of the globe, San Francisco and the Bay area are home to a multitude of diverse culinary delights and attractions. With all of the international folks who flutter around the World Cup, San Francisco’s famous restaurants, many located within iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, will be of special interest to taste buds from around the planet.

San Jose, Oakland, and Santa Clara also offer unique cultural attractions and cuisine. Arguably, there is no more disparate and European-like city in the United States than the metro area of San Francisco.

Temperate Climate

In June and July, when the 2026 World Cup will be played, the San Francisco Bay area averages less than an inch of rain. The temps are a very comfortable 66 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for long, grueling matches on the pitch.

The weather is inviting for the tens of thousands of players, officials, coaches, support staff, and fans who would descend on the region for the FIFA World Cup.

Beautiful Santa Clara & Levi’s Stadium

The San Francisco World Cup committee proposes to use Levi’s Stadium to host matches. The venue opened in 2014 and is home to the 49ers. It hosted the Super Bowl in 2016, the 2016 Copa América Centenario, the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, and the 019 College Football Playoff National Championship in 2019.

Levi’s Stadium is located in beautiful Santa Clara, California, and it’s considered the premier example of a new sustainable technology venue design for athletics and entertainment. It seats 70,909, and features 9,000 club seats. It also has more than 1,300 free wi-fi access points, according to the BayArea2026 website.

Multiple Fly-In Destinations

Visitors can choose from three international airports to get in and out of the Bay Area for the 2026 World Cup:

  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Oakland International Airport
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport

Only Miami and New York offer as many international hubs within such a localized metropolitan area in the United States.

San Fran 2026 World Cup Pitch Video

World Cup Host Countries

NATIONHOST YEARS  
Mexico197019862026
Germany19742006
Brazil19502014
United States19942026
Italy19341990
Canada2026
Russia2018
South Africa2010
South Korea2002
Japan2002
Spain1982
Argentina1978
England1966
Chile1962
Sweden1958
France1938
Switzerland1954
Uruguay1930

Canada, Mexico, and the US will have host cities determined for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for California Casinos with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.