“From the feedback at the end of the meeting, some of the comments (FIFA officials) made to us were very positive. I think it left us thinking that we did the absolute best we possibly can, given the format of the meeting.”
Atlanta United President Darren Eales, who also participated in the meeting, said afterward: “We can’t take it for granted, but I feel like we are in a really good place to be one of the host cities.”
The next step is for officials with Zurich-based FIFA to visit the 17 U.S. candidate cities. The timing of those visits is uncertain, depending on COVID-19.
FIFA “reinforced” during Monday’s meeting that it expects to finalize the selection of the host cities “sometime in the second or third quarter of next year,” Corso said.
When FIFA awarded the 2026 men’s World Cup to the United States, Mexico and Canada two years ago, the organization said 16 cities – 10 in the U.S., three in Mexico and three in Canada – would be chosen to host matches. Atlanta and Dallas were suggested in the original North American bid as potentially the semifinals hosts, but those recommendations aren’t binding on FIFA.
In addition to Atlanta, the U.S. candidates to host matches are Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington.