Seattle’s hospitality industry is rejoicing as the city wins its bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026. Seattle is one of 16 cities across North America selected by FIFA to host matches for the men’s tournament in summer 2026. The historic announcement is the culmination of a bid over a decade in the making, driven by public and private sector leaders across Washington state.
The United Bid Committee estimates that 2026 host cities will collectively generate more than $5 billion in short-term economic activity, with an estimated net gain of $90-480 million per city after factoring in estimated public costs. A total of 40,000 jobs will be supported throughout North America’s 16 host sites – in Seattle, that will mean a significant amount of new jobs in support of the events.
The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be a 48-team tournament hosted by three nations – both firsts for a FIFA World Cup. An announcement on the number of matches, and the rounds Seattle will host, is expected in June 2023. The 1994 FIFA World Cup (the last to be played in the U.S.) was the most financially successful in the tournament’s history – breaking World Cup average attendance records with nearly 69,000 spectators per game, a mark that still stands today. Visit Seattle anticipates all hotels within a two-hour drive of Seattle will be fully utilized.
When selecting 2026 hosts, FIFA considered the city’s ability to host ancillary events in various locations and venues (including training sites and stadium sizes), sustainability, human rights, legacy, general infrastructure, financial impact and local MLS support. Airlift and airport quality were also considered, timing well with the recent opening of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s International Arrivals Facility.
Seattle’s hospitality industry united to collectively meet the requirement of committing thousands of hotel rooms for future peak nights during the summer of 2026 for a match schedule that is not yet known. These commitments required a great deal of cooperation from all regional hotels.
For more information about Seattle’s FIFA World Cup 2026 berth visit sea2026.com