The countdown is on! Soccer fans around the world are buzzing with anticipation as the 2026 World Cup gears up to be the biggest and most exciting edition yet. Co-hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, this historic tournament will feature 48 teams competing for glory across 16 venues. Mark your calendars, as the action kicks off on June 11, 2026, with Mexico City’s iconic Azteca Stadium hosting the opening match. And the journey culminates on July 19 at the majestic MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where the World Cup final will crown the ultimate champion.
Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium, a venue that has already witnessed the magic of the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, is ready to kick off the tournament with a spectacle worthy of its rich soccer heritage. This legendary stadium, where Diego Maradona once captivated the world, will once again be at the center of the soccer universe, hosting the opening match that will kick off a month-long celebration of the beautiful game.
Fast forward to the World Cup final on July 19. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium has been selected to host the final, a decision that has the entire New York metropolitan area buzzing with excitement. The selection brings the culmination of soccer’s most prestigious event to the East Coast, breaking with the tradition of the final being held in Southern California. With a seating capacity that meets FIFA’s stringent requirements, MetLife Stadium will provide a grand stage for the tournament’s final as new champions are crowned.
The sprawling tournament will take place in 16 venues, carefully selected to accommodate the expanded field and give fans from around the world a chance to witness history. From the bustling streets of Toronto and Vancouver to the vibrant cultures of Monterrey and Guadalajara, each city will add its unique flavor to the tournament, enriching the World Cup tapestry with diverse experiences for players and fans alike.
Not to be outdone, the United States will see cities from coast to coast buzzing with the spirit of competition. Los Angeles, Boston, Houston and Seattle are just a few of the urban centers that will host matches, ensuring that the tournament’s footprint spans the vast landscapes of the host nations. The strategic selection of stadiums, many of which will be converted to turf fields to meet World Cup standards, underscores the meticulous planning and investment that will be made to ensure the event’s success.
The 2026 World Cup marks several exciting firsts. It’s the first edition to feature 48 teams, expanding the competition and giving more nations a chance to shine on the global stage. It’s also the first time the tournament will be co-hosted by three countries, showcasing the unifying power of the beautiful game across borders.
Here are the key dates:
- June 11-27: Group Stage – Witness the early battles for supremacy in iconic venues such as Vancouver, Toronto, Mexico City and Los Angeles.
- June 29 – July 3: Round of 32 – The stakes rise as the competition heats up, with matches taking place in each of the host cities.
- July 4-7: Round of 16 – The drama continues with knockout matches in electrifying venues such as Seattle, Mexico City and Philadelphia.
- July 9-11: Quarterfinals – The final eight compete for glory at prestigious venues such as SoFi Stadium and Hard Rock Stadium.
- July 14-15: Semifinals – Tension mounts as two teams battle for a spot in the grand finale at AT&T Stadium and Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
- July 19: Final – The world holds its breath as the two finalists meet at the majestic MetLife Stadium, with the winner making World Cup history.