SEATTLE, WASH. – Following today’s globally simulcast event from New York City, FIFA announced that Seattle is one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, bringing the world’s biggest sporting event to the Emerald City in four years’ time. The 2026 tournament is the first-ever combined bid to feature three nations, with the United States, Mexico and Canada hosting the event in the summer of 2026. FIFA World Cup 2026™is the first tournament to feature an expanded field of 48 international teams, with 60 matches being played in the United States, including contests at Seattle’s Lumen Field.
“This is perhaps the biggest day for the sport of soccer in the history of our region,” said SEA 2026 Chair and Seattle Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “To be awarded the FIFA World Cup is not only momentous for the city of Seattle, but for all of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. Crossing the finish line to become one of the host cities for this global event is a testament to the hard work of countless people. To the many individuals and agencies that were involved, on behalf of our entire local organizing committee, I would like to offer a sincere thank you and congratulations! We cannot wait to host FIFA World Cup matches at Lumen Field in 2026.”
As part of the overall effort to bring the FIFA World Cup 2026™ to Seattle – the globe’s biggest sporting event that crowns an international champion of the world’s game every four years – Seattle’s successful bid was led by SEA 2026. This local organizing committee is a multi-agency organization that represents years of hard work behind the scenes on behalf of several public and private entities that acted to ensure the Emerald City’s participation in this generational event. Chaired by Hanauer, the SEA 2026 Executive Committee guided the organization in executing its vision for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026™ in Seattle, while also serving as ambassadors for the City of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Today’s news follows last year’s official site visit from FIFA as part of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ candidate host city selection process. Led by Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani and FIFA Chief Tournaments & Events Officer Colin Smith, the FIFA delegation met with local stakeholders to discuss key topics such as venue management, infrastructure and sustainability, as well as commercial, legacy and legal matters. The visits also included inspections of essential infrastructure, such as Lumen Field, training facility sites and potential FIFA Fan Festival™ venues. Seattle’s official site visit took place across October 31 and November 1, 2021.
SOCCER, INNOVATION, EVERYONE
SEA 2026 embodies three primary principles: Soccer, Innovation, Everyone. The heart of Cascadia, Seattle is an inclusive and freethinking community of the Pacific Northwest. SEA 2026’s ethos is intended to reflect that iconoclast mindset.
Soccer – Support for the beautiful game in Seattle is deep-rooted. From the big NASL Sounders crowds that began swelling in 1974 at Memorial Stadium and then inside the Kingdome, to the throngs of supporters that have turned Lumen Field into a contemporary fortress, the Emerald City’s soccer love affair is well-documented. Because of this, the arches of Lumen Field are featured as part of SEA 2026’s primary mark, a nod to the fans that have built Seattle’s soccer culture and deserve to see the FIFA World Cup played inside their home venue. Since Sounders FC began play in MLS in 2009, Seattle fans have set the standard for soccer support in North America, leading the league in attendance for eight consecutive seasons (2009-2016) and routinely ranking in the top 30 in attendance among all professional teams internationally. The club has hosted major international football events before, including several matches in the 2016 Copa América Centenario.
Innovation – Washington State is known for its creativity and innovation. From technology to aerospace, music and agriculture, this is a region that prides itself on the gifts it gives to the world. The legendary Space Needle itself was constructed as an inspirational vision for the future ahead of the 1962 World’s Fair, drawing nearly 10 million people to that event as Seattle sought to reshape the city’s destiny in the latter half of the 20th century.
Everyone – All fans are welcome in Seattle. The city’s Fan Fest will take place on Seattle’s new front doorstep: the new Seattle Waterfront Park. Hop on a ferry or bike, walk, kayak or watch from the Pike Place Market overlook walk. Get to downtown hotels, Seattle Center, up to Capitol Hill, or down to Pioneer Square or the Chinatown International District – experience Seattle, like a local. SeaTac Airport is the gateway to Asia with 12 non-stop flights daily to Asia and the Middle East. Equidistant between Asia and Europe, Seattle is also equidistant between Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon. We are ready to welcome the world. The flag flying from atop the Space Needle in the SEA 2026 primary mark is the Equality Flag, a symbol of hope and inclusion and one of the most recognizable symbols of the LGBTQ+ community.