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The 16 stadium for the 2026 USA, Mexico and Canada World Cup

Tre nazioni per ben sedici stadi

The 16 stadium for the 2026 USA, Mexico and Canada World Cup Tre nazioni per ben sedici stadi

The last time a World Cup was played in the United States is still well etched in the minds of Italians. It was July 17, 1994, when at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Roberto Baggio kicked sky-high the penalty that handed Brazil the World Cup and plunged the Azzurro people into hellish despair. And 32 years later, the World Cup is preparing to return to the States and beyond. The 2026 edition, in fact, will be a special one; the first to be held in three nations, the United States in fact, as well as Canada and Mexico, and which will see the expansion of participating teams to 48. An opportunity for so many National Teams that see the World Cup only as a mirage, but also a chance for Italy to get back into the spotlight in the intercontinental competition after its two consecutive failures to qualify for Russia 2018 and the upcoming Qatar 2022. 

The 23rd edition of the World Cup will be divided among 11 cities in the US, three in Mexico and two in Canada. A total of as many as 80 matches divided into 60, including quarters, semifinals and finals, will be played in the States, and 10 each between the Mexican and Canadian countries. There will thus be 16 stadiums hosting the event, well double the 8 in the now very close Qatar 2022. 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Opened in 2017, it is one of several U.S. facilities used for both football and NFL. It has a capacity of 71,041 spectators and is the home of both the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL and Atlanta United in MLS. Juventus also played there in 2018, when the Bianconeri took on Major League Soccer's All Star team. It was the Italian club that won on penalties thanks to De Sciglio's decisive shot. The facility also has something of our country, in fact, architect Bill Johnson revealed that the circular opening in the ceiling is inspired by the Roman Pantheon. 

AT&T Stadium in Dallas

Usually reserved for the Dallas Cowboys American football team, it also hosted the NBA All Star Game by setting the Guinness World Record for attendance at the time. There were in fact 108,713 spectators in attendance, although the official capacity is about 90,000. It will be one of the facilities with the largest capacity for the 2026 World Cup. Over the years it has also hosted various concerts by world music stars such as U2, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift. 

MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey

Built in 2010, the MetLife is the stadium vying to host both the opening game and the World Cup 2026 final. It is a multi-purpose facility being the home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets, but having also hosted the 2016 Copa America final between Chile and Argentina, seen by Roja complete with a missed Messi penalty, and also two WestleManias. It has a capacity of about 85,000 spectators. 

SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles

A state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2021 and cost more than $5 billion, it has a capacity of 70,000 that can be expanded, however, to 100,240 for major events. The field, however, is not large enough and before the World Cup begins it will have to undergo expansion work to come under regulation. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics in 2028. 

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia

Known to all by the simple name of The Linc, it is a facility purely used for American football being the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, but was opened in 2003 with a friendly between Manchester United and Barcelona. With a capacity of about 69,500 spectators, it will also host the 2003 Women's World Cup, the 2009 and 2015 Gold Cup and the Centennial Copa America, as well as several concerts by Beyonce and Coldplay among many others. It is also a "green" facility, boasting 11,000 solar panels and 14 micro wind turbines. 

Levi's Stadium in California

It is one of the most tech-savvy facilities in the United States, not for nothing located in Silicon Valley, home to the headquarters of Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Amazon among many others. It has a very efficient Wi-Fi facility, as well as a dedicated app for a total experience in the facility. In July 2016, as much as 600 square meters of surrounding land was turned into an organically maintained farm, where herbs, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and various vegetables are produced and harvested for use in dishes served in the stadium restaurants. It has a capacity of about 70,000 spectators. 

NRG Stadium in Houston 

It was the first U.S. stadium with a retractable roof, and due to the presence of a large glass surface, the facility creates a glowing effect at night. It hosted an MLS All Star Game that also bore the signature of an Italian: in the 5-2 win that handed Manchester United the victory, in fact, Federico Macheda also scored. It has a capacity of 72,220. 

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami

One of the "oldest" stadiums in the U.S., having opened in 1987. It is the home of the Miami Dolphins and also hosted the Miami Formula 1 GP in 2022, with the circuit built right around the facility that saw Max Verstappen win ahead of Leclerc. It was also exploited by the cinema for the filming of some scenes in the Jim Carrey-starring movie Ace Ventura - The Animal Catcher. 

Seattle's Lumen Field

Strictly football facility, being the home of the Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS and the OL Reign of the NWSL. Approximately 70,00-seat stadium set its attendance record of 69,274 for the 2019 MLS Cup, but the sell-out came with the 2011 U2 concert. 

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City

Opened in 1972, it is one of the oldest stadiums in the United States. It has a capacity of 76,000 spectators and holds a special Guinness World Record. It is in fact the loudest facility in history having registered 142.2 decibels during a Kansas City Chiefs-New England Patriots game in the NFL. Fans of national teams playing there will therefore have to make themselves heard. 

Gillette Stadium in Boston

Opened in 2002, it took the place of a stadium so dear to Italians: Foxboro Stadium, the facility where in the 1994 World Cup Roberto Baggio scored two historic double goals against Nigeria and Spain. The new Gillette Stadium has 70,000 available seats and has been the site of both the men's and women's U.S. National Team matches. 

Azteca Stadium in Mexico City

Stadium where history has been written over the years. In fact, it was the scene of Italy-Germany 4-3 in the 1970 World Cup, as well as the legendary match between Argentina and England in '86 that saw Diego Armando Maradona's Mano de Dios and the Goal of the Century signed by the Pibe de oro himself dribbling half the English team. It currently hosts the home matches of Club América, Cruz Azul and the Mexico national team. It has a capacity of 87,500 spectators and will become the only facility ever to have hosted as many as three editions of the World Cup. 

Akron Stadium in Guadalajara 

The great peculiarity of this facility, which can accommodate 48,000 spectators, is its hill shape. An architectural peculiarity that has seen the present concrete covered with 70,000 square meters of grass. It was inaugurated in 2010 with a match between Manchester United and hosts Guadalajara. Chicharito Hernandez, who grew up right in the Mexican team, played the first half with the Red Devils and the second half with his former team. 

BBVA Stadium in Monterrey

One of the most modern facilities in Mexico. It is nicknamed El Gigante de Acero, the Giant of Steel, and boasts magnificent views of Cerro de la Sila; the mountain monument that towers over the city and the stadium. It has a capacity of about 51,000 spectators, but has yet to host a Mexican national team game. 

BMO Field in Toronto

The smallest stadium at the 2026 World Cup with only 30,000 seats, but by 2026 it should see an expansion to 45,000 spectators. It is the home of Toronto FC and the Italian colony in MLS represented by Insigne, Bernardeschi and Criscito. It is also the facility where the Canadian national rugby team plays its home matches. 

BC Place in Vancouver

Opened in 1983, it has already hosted a World Cup final, namely the 2015 Women's World Cup won by the United States against Japan. It has a retractable roof that can be opened or closed in just twenty minutes. It also has the special feature of a big screen that hangs from above in the center of the facility. Its capacity is 54,500 spectators.