Houston named 2026 FIFA World Cup host city

Games will take place at NRG Stadium, one of 11 U.S. sites where matches will be played.

The NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, and the practice facility in the background.
Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media

Houston will host World Cup matches in 2026, FIFA announced Thursday.

An unknown number of games will be played at NRG Stadium in the summer 2026. Houston is one of 11 U.S. cities that will be host sites along with three cities in Mexico and two in Canada. The 2026 World Cup is jointly hosted by the three nations.

There were 16 U.S. cities competing to host matches. Texas will have two host cities, with Dallas also selected. The other U.S. sites selected: Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco/Bay Area and Seattle. Baltimore/D.C., Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville and Orlando did not make the cut.

The two Canadian host sites are Toronto and Vancouver. The three Mexican cities selected are Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

FIFA is expected to announce next year the number of first-round games each host site is allotted, and which games will take place where. Houston bid organizers are hopeful they will host at least one knockout round stage match.

NRG Stadium, which opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 72,000, features a retractable roof that will allow FIFA the option of allowing the elements in or keeping fans and players cool during Houston's hot and humid summers. NRG Stadium has previously hosted a number of soccer matches, including U.S. Men's National Team friendlies and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.

This is the first time Houston will host World Cup games in the city's history. The 1994 World Cup in the U.S. featured nine host cities, but Houston was not involved.

Harris County-Houston Sports Authority officials announced a Houston 2026 World Cup Celebration on Friday at Pitch 25 in EaDo.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature an expanded field of 48 teams, up from 32. Historically, host nations receive automatic bids for their respective national teams to play.