Will Atlanta host the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - June 14, 2018: FIFA World Cup Group A opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium.
Photo by sti1999 on Deposit Photos

Atlanta is in the process of bidding to host part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

In 2026, the FIFA World Cup is coming to the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Twenty-three cities across North America were submitted as a part of the successful 2026 United Bid, but likely only 16 cities – 10 in the United States, three in Canada, and three in Mexico – will be selected by FIFA as Official Host Cities.

“Atlanta offers the best that any city can offer—rich culture and diversity, support of human rights issues and a history of successfully hosting national and international events – which makes the city a natural place to host the FIFA World Cup,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Atlanta is no stranger to hosting large-scale sporting events. In addition to hosting the historic 1996 Olympic Games, the city has hosted three Super Bowl games, four NCAA Men’s Final Four tournaments and 24 consecutive Southeastern Conference football championship games.

As part of the overall venue selection process being carried out by FIFA and U.S. Soccer, the candidate host cities have been tasked with conducting a thorough stakeholder engagement exercise to examine the human rights-related risks and opportunities posed for the city of Atlanta in hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The City of Atlanta is working to convene a Human Rights Advisory Council comprised of immigrant community leaders, human trafficking advocates and Atlanta business leaders to discuss the FIFA World Cup initiative. Leaders in racial equity, women’s rights, disability access and more will be represented in this diverse council. 

Additionally, the city will host three stakeholder workshops geared toward reviewing and preventing any human rights risks in Atlanta, as well as the legacy of this important work. A preliminary strategy of findings will be presented to FIFA in 2021. If Atlanta is chosen as a host city, this strategy will be executed and built upon in the years leading up to the event in 2026.

Photo: Photo by sti1999 on Deposit Photos