Cincinnati has been included as an official Candidate Host City in the United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. The United Bid announced its list of 23 Candidate Host Cities that will be included in the Bid Book on Thursday.
In its efforts to host the FIFA World Cup™, Cincinnati is part of the most comprehensive and far-reaching hosting strategy ever developed for a mega-sporting event. The Cincinnati USA Sports Commission, an affiliate of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, convened regional partners to develop and submit the bid.
If the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is awarded to the United Bid, FIFA will select up to 16 Host Cities from the proposed slate of 23. The full list of Candidate Host Cities can be found below.
“We are thrilled to learn that Cincinnati USA has advanced to the next stage of discussions as a Host City for FIFA World Cup 2026,” said Tim Zeis, Board Chair of the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission.
Cincinnati’s inclusion on this highly sought-after list comes as a result of a thriving soccer movement throughout the region paired with a strong reputation for hosting high profile events. The rising popularity for FC Cincinnati, a club in the United Soccer League, is an indicator of the local interest and enthusiasm around the sport.
“FC Cincinnati’s continued collaboration with Cincinnati businesses and community partners is evidence of our city’s ability to harness the passion that exists for soccer and utilize it to promote the sport as well as benefit our region,” said Jeff Berding, President and General Manager of FC Cincinnati and Co-Chairman of the Cincinnati Bid Committee for World Cup 2026. “There is no greater thrill than the prospect of hosting the 2026 World Cup and we are confident that Cincinnati will be a shining example of the soccer movement on the global stage.”
The Cincinnati region’s past experience in hosting large, celebrated events sets it up for success as it continues to work toward earning the title of Host City for the World Cup.
“Cincinnati is no stranger to hosting major international events, and the entire community – from hotels and restaurants to our local government – is dedicated to joining together to make the World Cup a success,” said Michael Laatsch, Interim President & CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The opportunity to host this event helps elevate Cincinnati’s reputation as a world class destination, and we’re looking forward to working with the host committee to roll out the red carpet and welcome visitors from around the world.”
Along with heightened awareness of Cincinnati as a destination, hosting the World Cup would also lead to significant economic impact throughout the Cincinnati region. According to Boston Consulting Group, a Host City for World Cup 2026 could see an estimated $160 to $620 million in incremental economic activity, which translates to a net benefit of approximately $90 - $480 million per city.
Canada, Mexico, and the United States require no new stadium construction to stage the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be the official site for the tournament in Cincinnati if the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is awarded to the United Bid. The United Bid proposal would be the largest FIFA World Cup™ ever staged.
The United Bid’s final Candidate Host Cities are:
New York/New Jersey
San Francisco Bay Area
About the United Bid Committee
The United Bid Committee was created by the National Federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
About The 2026 FIFA World Cup™
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure to ensure a successful tournament. The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States is uniquely suited to accommodate FIFA’s high-level standards for hosting a FIFA World Cup™. If the United Bid is selected by FIFA as the host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, up to 16 Host Cities will be selected as venues for games. Canada, Mexico and the United States also have a long and successful history as hosts - 13 FIFA World Cups™ have been hosted in Canada, Mexico and the United States, five of which have set attendance records.
About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is a sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $5 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 77,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 26.1 million visitors to the region annually. Visit www.cincyusa.com for more.