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USA World Cup bid announces final 18 cities

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This afternoon the U.S. World Cup bid committee announced the list of 18 cities that would be submitted as a part of the bid to host the 2018/2022 World Cup.

According to U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, the final list of cities average a stadium capacity of around 78,000, with the possibility of 5,000,000 World Cup tickets available for either a 2018 or 2022 tournament. That would be 33 percent bigger than in 1994, when fewer games were played.

Here's the list of cities:

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.

It's not guaranteed that every city would host a match, as the FIFA requirements stipulated that up to 18 cities could be submitted, but 9-12 stadiums would likely be used. Chicago, Detroit, Orlando and San Francisco were among those that did not make the final cut.

What do you think of the final list? Where should the first/last games be held? Disappointed to see Chicago or Orlando miss out?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Again, why all the Baltimore hate? It’s hardly the backwoods or anything. Baltimore will be fantastic hosts. It’s very soccer-friendly, has a beautiful compact waterfront downtown with lots of amenities, the stadium is downtown and is located on a light rail line that connects to both the airport and the train station.

    It is very historic, as in it goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries, has plenty of hotel space in walking distance of the stadium, has lots of experience hosting big events. I’m a little biased since I live in Washington but it is a great idea to have all the east coast cities be hosts. It is far, far easier and cheaper to move in and between them than any other city group in the country. Fans won’t have to pay to rent cars or fly airplanes to get to the cities and stadiums. They could just hop on the Acela or one of the plethora of cheap NE corridor buses. Only Foxboro isn’t accessible from downtown via some form of transit. It is far more like the easy travel experience that fans in Germany or Japan had than anywhere else in the U.S. One of the few complaints about 1994 was how difficult it was to follow a team around our geographically vast country.

  2. who said fan miles have to be right next to the stadium? as i recall, the fan mile in berlin in 06 was next to the brandenburg gate, which is nowhere near the olympic stadium.

    fan mile in boston… on the common?

  3. i’d hold off on calling both of those this early. spain/portugal seems to be giving england a run for its money, and australia is having issues guaranteeing that the stadiums will be used for only soccer just before and during the world cup (their major spectator sports of rugby league and aussie rules both run during the summer.)

  4. ***i commented on chicago on another post here.***

    i’m not yet impressed. this not even considering whether or not i think the u.s. should be hosting the wc again in 2018 or 2022 (for the record, i’m leaning towards “too early” – i’d rather see it back in ’26 or later.)

    what bothers me most right now:

    1. two open-air stadiums in florida in the summer (HELLO?! CALLING JOHN ALDRIDGE!!! see:

    2. phoenix. yeah, fine, it’ll at least be fine inside the stadium, but the idea of a fan mile in phoenix is shot.

    3. the closest venue outside seattle is over 900 miles away in l.a., the next closest is over 1000 away in denver, and the bay area gets shafted, but there are five stadiums in what’s essentially a straight shot less than half that long on the east coast. hell, i’m even from massachusetts, and it pisses me off anyways. while i’m on the subject, i’m not actually all that convinced by gillette.

    **i’m not gonna go hardcore on this, but i don’t think both l.a. and san diego should have been selected.

    4. nothing in ohio, and nothing in detroit. i’d have liked to see the world cup be used as a sort of revitalization deal here.

    with a few exceptions *which i’m happy with! =)* – nashville and seattle chief among them – it feels like a sterotypically american bid. gargantuan stadiums which seem to be most readily accessed by driving a car a ways away from a city… really?

  5. i echo smokeminside’s comment. it’s the world cup, people. doesn’t matter where the games are, they’ll all sell out. to nate, i don’t think the world cup should just be about cities that people would likely visit anyways should they visit the u.s. i’ll follow this up with my thoughts on chicago’s exclusion, and the bid cities at large.

  6. um, FedEx is inside the Washington beltway. It’s a mile from a Washington Metro station. Yes, it’s in Maryland, but that’s not the Baltimore area in the least bit. Locally, we have pretty well-defined lines about what’s in the Baltimore region and what’s in the Washington region. FedEx is well inside that line. No confusion there.

    Also, proximity among the east coast cities is good. If the infrastructure is there, why not use it? I think it’s attractive to have one group play in different venues that its fans could take the Acela or the wide array of low-cost northeast corridor bus services that we have. There is no reason to make fans from other countries pay the high prices to climb on airplanes just to follow their team in the first round.

  7. you are an idiot……or at the very least are doing your best to impersonate one. Nobody in Chicago refers to SF as the “mistake by the lake” that’s actually what people in Cleveland used to call the Indians. Leaving out Chicago is a HORRIBLE decision. Chicago has one of the biggest soccer fan bases in the US, one of the BEST downtown setups in terms of hotels, restaurants, night life, and I could name at least five cities on this list that have at least as bad a traffic problem if not worse…NY,ATL,Big D, Houston, La. the fact that KC, and Tampa are on the list but Chicago is not is a MAJOR problem.

  8. This list reads like a “Who’s Who Of High Crime Rates In America.”

    Out of cities of populations over half a million, you have the 2nd most dangerous (DC), 3rd (Baltimore), 5th (Dallas), 6th (Philly), 8th (Nashville), 9th (Houstan), and 10th (Phoenix).

    Atlanta is the most dangerous city of cities 100,000 to 499,999 (remember, these totals don’t count the ‘burbs, just the city proper) and in fact is more dangerous then any other city on the list.,000+

    It’s not that I feel these cities shouldn’t host a World Cup, but if I had a dime for every complaint about South Africa and Brazil’s crime rate, well, I’d be funding our government right now.

  9. Seriously, Chicago sucks. You can’t get around by car and there’s no major cities that have train connections to Chicago. You have to fly into the worst airport situation in the country and deal with the worst traffic.

    Oh, and Soldier field is known as the “mistake by the lake.” Plus, 61,000 is just not enough for the crowd.

  10. Within the borders of the city, excluding the suburbs, Chicago has the highest percentage of immigrants of any city in the US. Within the city limits; out of 2.8 million people if you just take Mexican and Polish immigrants alone, you have 500,000 born in Mexico and 350,000 born in Poland. Throw in the Irish, Nigerians, Italians, Slovenians, Chileans, English, Koreans, etc, etc, etc and it’s just insane that Chicago was left off because of 4500 seats in it’s stadium. Include the suburbs and the number of immigrants in a metropolitan area of 8.5 million people is massive. I guarantee you the City would have figured out someway to put as many quality temporary seats in as USSF wanted. Support would have been huge.

    With respect to the WC being a party, if you are so inclined, you can booze it up all day and then either walk a few blocks to the stadium from downtown or take an el from your watering hole to Soldier Field. If you get a DUI in the city, you’re as idiot as there is a bar every hundred yards and no need to drive to or from the bar or any match. The fan village atmosphere would have been amazing like in Germany in 2006. There are even beaches a few blocks from the stadium that they could use for fan villages. It’s nuts.

  11. I am from Louisville, KY and I cannot fathom why the two closest MLS cities:Chicago and Columbus are not being represented for WC. I am a Crew fan, but Chicago is a wonderful city with a huge insane fan base and a stadium that is in downtown with easy walk from lodging to stadium to pub. This is unforgivable.

  12. As a native Midwesterner now living in New York, I think it’s a tremendous slight to the entire region of the Midwest to only have Indianapolis representing the area. Of the current US teams in MLS, four have been eliminated from having any possibility of games played – two of those (Columbus and San Jose) having been founding members of the league. While San Jose has had its issues with losing their team temporarily, Columbus was the first city to build a soccer-specific facility, so the commitment to soccer is there, and there were three venues that submitted bids in the state (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati) – two new NFL stadiums and one of the largest in college football, all within two hours of Columbus. Not to mention the vast number of people in the Ohio three, plus Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis who all will have to fight for tickets to Indianapolis (though that won’t happen).

    So here’s what you’re going to have: four groups of three cities, based in four distinct regions of the country to keep fans pooled closer together.
    – Northeast: Boston, NY, Philly, DC, Baltimore
    – Southeast: Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville
    – “Midwest” (yes, I’m using that term sarcastically): Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, KC
    – West: LA, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix, Seattle

    Under that premise, out west, San Diego & Denver are probably toast. “Midwest” will probably see Indianapolis get cut. Southeast, my guess would be Tampa, while the Northeast is a dogfight – can’t really see them cutting Boston, but then only one of Philly/DC/Baltimore gets in.

    And yes, USSF will totally abandon the interior part of the country. Given what they’ve outlined, a rather large part of me hopes that we get turned down entirely for both 2018 and 2022. To completely ignore that much of the country, including areas that have long been great cities for supporting the game in this country is unforgivable.

  13. If someone in Illinois/Chicago wasn’t willing to sign the paperwork, they could have just leaked it to the press beforehand…this would give time for fans to put pressure on the city! There are plenty of peoplein Chicago who recall the 1994 World Cup and would have called/e-mailed/sent letters to whomeever was holding things up… you don’t just exclude your 3rd largest city out of the bid

  14. I was disappointed to see Charlotte and St. Louis left off the list. St. Louis holds so much U.S. soccer history, and I’m baffled as to why they continue to get the snub from both MLS and the USSF.

    Charlotte would have been a great choice, as it is a very clean, modern city with excellent transport and lodging infrastructure. They also have a top notch natural turf stadium in Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers play. Charlotte, and N.C. as well, also has a large, soccer knowledgeable fan base that would have shown up in droves to watch matches.

    Why Baltimore AND DC, two cities within 40 minutes of each other??

    Otherwise, most of these choices look pretty sound.

  15. No SF? We were a great host in 94. The San Francisco Bay Area would have the best weather for those noon WC kickoffs. How the organizing committee would not want to showcase one of the world’s most beautiful cities, is shocking. And Miami and Atlanta are still on the list??? Pheonix? Looks like the orgainizing committee is only concerned with breaking attendance records.

    SF and LA are closing in on new NFL stadiums. Not sure if they can be added later on.

  16. Yes, there are more than enough hotels, car rentals, freeways, and public transportation (light rail, metro, buses) to handle 2 world cup venues in the Baltimore-DC area.

    Orlando – actually would have hotel issues as summer is prime time for Disney and the other Orlando attractions.

  17. Since the games will be played in the middle of the day, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville and Wash/Baltimore will make for some ugly soccer.

    These venues will make the most second most exciting football tournament in the world look like a Sunday afternoon MLS match from Pizza Hut park.

    I think the summer heat will be a major stumbling block to our bid.

    I would have included as many moderate summer climates as possible.

  18. Lots of factors go into these decisions. Tampa over Orlando makes sense. Citrus bowl sucks. RAy jay is far better. Tampa is near the coast and beaches and it’s still near Orlando (1 hour) and it’s attractions. Tampa would’ve gotten 94 games except back then, the old stadium’s field was too narrow.

    The Chicago decision does seem odd to me.

  19. Here is a quote from Sunil in regards to Chicago Parks District, the group that runs Soldier Field:

    “had a tough time wrestling with FIFA requirements in short order after the IOC decision.”

    In essence, Chicago Parks Dist. did not have their stuff in order in time…so they were passed over…so you have to ask…did they even want the event?

  20. No Charlotte? North Carolina has three of the ten best collegiate programs in the country- Wake Forest, UNC, and Duke- and some of the best youth programs.

    Not counting Texas and Florida, which aren’t truly Southern states, the South has only two cities represented, Atlanta and Nashville.

  21. Okay can you please explain why there were surveys done that indicated that a lot of people in Chicago and more important people in local governments included were not thrilled about it?

    I never claimed to be an expert on Chicago or their politics but leading up to the vote for 2016, several articles posted touched on the fact the people in Chicago were split.

    I will however post what ever I seem fit since that’s what forums are for!

    Please feel free to enlighten me and others on why Chicago should have a venue despite the already mentioned likely reasons USSF chose not to go with it?

  22. actually now I do remember and many of them were in the evening, so why would night games not work for Phoenix or any other US city for that matter? Time zone issues vis a vis Europe?

  23. Well, I do think putting a bunch of games within a high-speed rail corridor will be appealing to FIFA. The East Coast focus makes some sense for now. I suppose if the LA-SF rail gets built, and a good stadium gets built in SF, there might be reason to reconsider excluding SF. I think leaving out Chicago, in favor of KC and/or Indy is a mistake, but that’s totally separate from the East Coast venues.

  24. the US has no shot at hosting either the 2018 or 2022, these cups are heading to England, who has not hosted a cup since 1966 and Australia, who has never hosted the world cup.

  25. The irony is that Da Mayor sold the public on the reconstruction of Soldier Field with public money by touting the use of the stadium for soccer events.

  26. you want to minimize excessive travel. But I whole completely agree about Chicago. UNREAL! I mean, Indianapolis! OVER CHICAGO!!?!??! INDIANAPOLIS!!!!!!!!!!!! wow


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