DORAL, FL – FIFA visits Miami on September 23 as part of its first candidate host cities inspections to the World Cup 2026. The Magic City is among 17 cities competing to become one of the 10 or 11 U.S. game sites. Mexico will possibly have three venues and Canada, two or three.
A FIFA delegation, led by FIFA Vice-President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, made an extensive tour of Hard Rock Stadium while it also visited four potential training venues: FIU, Barry University, the Dolphin’s new training facility the Baptist Health Training Complex and Inter Miami’s complex in Fort Lauderdale.
In addition, the officials also inspected three candidate venues for a Fan Fest: Lummus Park, the Miami Beach Convention Center and Bayfront Park.
Hard Rock Stadium was built by Joe Robbie and renovated by Stephen Ross to resemble a European soccer venue and it meets FIFA requirements. It has been the host of South American national team matches as well as games of European clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
“We’re here to do our due diligence. We all know Miami has hosted many, many big events. It’s an international city,” said Vince Montagliani. “The diversity in the city, and the fact that now that you have an MLS team, it’s obviously a destination for this sport.”
Montagliani stated that not only Miami could be one of the Florida cities to be selected as a host venue but also Orlando. “There’s no prejudice having two candidates in one state. Absolutely not.”
This could be the first time Miami becomes a World Cup host since in 1994’s tournament it lost that opportunity because of schedule conflicts with the Marlins, who played at the stadium at the time.
During this first visits tour, other eight cities were also inspected: Atlanta, Boston, Nashville, Orlando, Washington, Baltimore, New York/New Jersey and Philadelphia.
In every one of those visits, including the Magic City, the FIFA delegation held meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including city and stadium authorities, as well as football clubs and other sports organizations, while covering key topics like venue management, infrastructure, sustainability and commercial, legal and legacy matters.
Here, the delegation was received by local politicians and soccer officials, including Inter Miami co-owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham.
Miami, which has hosted a record 11 Super Bowls, is considered a likely front-runner along with Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and Dallas and/or Houston.
The remaining US bidding venues, as well as those in Canada and Mexico, will be visited by the end of November, with a view to performing a thorough assessment and finalizing the selection process by Q1/Q2 2022, according to FIFA’s website.