Imagine World Cup soccer coming to Philly?
It could happen.
Philadelphia is among 17 U.S. cities bidding to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches, and members of the bid committee met virtually on Tuesday with officials from FIFA - the international governing body of soccer - to promote the city’s campaign to host the tournament.
The World Cup is held every four years, and the 2026 tournament was awarded to a joint North American bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
There are 17 U.S. cities and three each from Mexico and Canada bidding to host games. Of those 23 cities, 16 will be awarded games - 10 in the U.S. and three each from Canada and Mexico.
Of the 80 games, 60 will be held in the U.S. The tournament expands in 2026 from 32 to 48 teams and from 64 to 80 games.
The World Cup was first held in 1930 and has been held in the U.S. only once, in 1994.
The Linc, which has hosted numerous soccer games since it opened in 2003, would host Philadelphia’s portion of the month-long tournament.
According to a release from the Eagles, the host committee met with FIFA and U.S. Soccer for 90 minutes on Tuesday to discuss things like the playing field, potential commercial opportunities and the fan experience.
According to FIFA’s web site, in-person meetings and site inspections of the various bid cities will be held this summer if it’s safe.
Next year’s World Cup is scheduled for November and December in Qatar, but the tournament is usually held in the summer.
“Lincoln Financial Field has been a trusted venue and partner for international soccer events since it opened,” said David Cohen, chairman of Philadelphia Soccer 2026. “It’s a world-class facility with a top-notch team that knows how to deliver an outstanding experience for teams and fans alike.”
FIFA - which stands for the Federation Internationale de Football Association - is expected to announce the host cities late this fall.