Philadelphia Teamed Up to Make a Successful Bid to Host World Cup

Philadelphia Teamed Up to Make a Successful Bid to Host World Cup
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The City of Brotherly Love is getting the world’s biggest athletic event and Pennsylvania gamblers will have numerous opportunities to wager on the World Cup in 2026.

Philadelphia was one of 11 U.S. cities to be named by FIFA late Thursday to host 2026 World Cup matches. FIFA announced 16 overall North American cities, including three in Mexico and two in Canada. This is coming at the perfect time for the top Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament hosted by three nations and also the first that will expand to 48 teams for the competition.

Pennsylvania is one of several states over the last five years to legalize sports wagering.

It is also one of only a handful of states with legal real money online casinos.

Here are the cities in United States, Mexico and Canada that were selected:

  • Philadelphia
  • Kansas City
  • Vancouver [B.C.]
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Guadalajara [Mexico]
  • Miami
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Monterrey [Mexico]
  • Mexico City
  • Toronto
  • Boston
  • New York/New Jersey
  • Dallas

Excitement was tangible throughout the city after so many constituencies worked for years to make a bid FIFA couldn’t refuse.

“What a victory and what a testament to the strength of our bid,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, the chair of Philadelphia Soccer 2026, in a news release. “The competition to host FIFA World Cup 2026 has been fierce but with the City, PHLCVB (Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau), Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Union, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, and more, we highlighted our terrific experience with international events, an elite match play venue, a passionate soccer community, a powerful commitment to social impact, and an unrivaled hospitality experience at every opportunity.”

Added Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: “FIFA saw what we all know is true: Philadelphia is a welcoming, world-class city and we have the experience to deliver a fantastic experience for teams, fans, and sponsors alike.

“ . . . I am grateful to the many partners who came together to support this Bid, including the PHLCVB, which led the charge dating back to the United Bid in 2016-17, and the Philadelphia Eagles, who have made Lincoln Financial Field such a spectacular venue.”

Philadelphia Practice Possibilities

Official World Cup matches will take place at Lincoln Financial Field but national teams that are selected to play games here will need places to practice.

Several options are currently under consideration to be used as a temporary training site for a two- to eight-week period, including two of 12 fields planned for FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Other possible sites: Rhodes Field on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, Drexel University, NovaCare Complex (Eagles training facility) and Subaru Park, home of the Philadelphia Union (MLS).

Here is an early look ahead, courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook PA on the odds for the World Cup in 2026.

⚽️ Brazil +475
⚽️ France +600
⚽️ England +700
⚽️ Spain +800
⚽️ Argentina +800
⚽️ Germany +900
⚽️ Netherlands +1200
⚽️ Belgium +1200
⚽️ Portugal +1200
⚽️ Denmark +2500
⚽️ Croatia +5000
⚽️ Uruguay +5000
⚽️ Senegal +6600
⚽️ Switzerland +8000
⚽️ USA +10000
⚽️ Mexico +10000
⚽️ Serbia +10000
⚽️ Wales +10000
⚽️ Poland +10000
⚽️ Ecuador +10000

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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