16 August, 2017
Houston and NRG Stadium are on an official list for cities and venues that may be considered to host a FIFA World Cup match if the event comes to North America in 2026.
All of the knockout-round games will be played in the USA, but there is reportedly a chance Mexico City's Azteca Stadium could host the opener.
The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada began its outreach for cities to declare interest to serve as a host city by sending Requests for Information to 44 cities throughout the continent. A total of 49 stadiums will be considered in the official bid. Out of those 80 matches, 60 of them will be in the United States.
According to Tom Marshall of ESPN.co.uk, the United Bid Committee confirmed 34 cities in the us will be approached, along with seven in Canada and three in Mexico featuring a total of 49 venues.
Stadiums under consideration in the United States include several venues used in the 1994 World Cup, like the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
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With expansion, Mosaic Stadium could seat 40000 people which would be the minimum for a game in the group stage. Each city is asked to declare its interest to take part in the bidding process by September 5.
Morocco is the only other nation that has declared its intention to submit a 2026 bid.
With the World Cup's expansion from a 32-team tournament to 48 teams in 2026, more sports venues and infrastructure will be required, making a multi-country bid more sensible given the enormous costs required to deliver the expanded world event.
That recipe hasn't always spared New Orleans painful snubs lately, with the city losing out on the rights to host future Super Bowls in 2014 and 2016 at the Superdome.
The tournament would include at least 12 host cities, though the exact number remains undetermined. FIFA will choose the host at the FIFA Congress in June 2018.