FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup on Thursday, spreading them between Canada (two), Mexico (three), and the United States (11).
Toronto and Vancouver will represent Canada while Mexico will host games in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the list of host cities and regions includes Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, New York City & New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA.
When you look at a map, you notice that, aside from Kansas City, there are no other Midwestern cities included in the list.
THE HOST CITIES FOR THE 2026 WORLD CUP HAVE BEEN REVEALED. 🇺🇸🇨🇦🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/klHEkkpqY0
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 16, 2022
While there are plenty of snubbed cities that stand out, perhaps no missing U.S. city is more of a shock than Chicago, IL. The third-most-populous city in the nation will not take part in the 2026 World Cup and won’t even have a match take place within 500 miles.
Those paying attention would have told you that Chicago never actually submitted a bid for the World Cup. The city pulled out of the bid process back in 2018 when they felt like they couldn’t receive certain assurances from FIFA.
“FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk,” a statement said at the time. “The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”
Given the other major American cities that put in bids and will host games, it’s unclear why Chicago decided not to participate beyond that. But given how old that news was, it’s no surprise that many soccer fans and sports fans didn’t understand why FIFA didn’t include the Windy City in their list on Thursday.
Is anyone else in Chicago bummed with the 2026 World Cup host cities announcements today? 😢 Home to US Soccer headquarters, and we’ll be missing out on the celebration of the beautiful game in our city.
— Nicole Hack (@nikhak) June 16, 2022
Say what you want about Soldier Field but Chicago not being a potential host for the 2026 World Cup is shameful stuff from our city
— Chicago Fire Soccer Talk (@ChiFireSocTalk) June 16, 2022
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE KANSAS CITY A WORLD CUP GAME AND NOT CHICAGO?
— Fidel Martinez (@fidmart85) June 16, 2022
Reminder that the World Cup isn't coming to Chicago because we wouldn't be part of the FIFA city-extortion attempt. I'm OK with it but also *sigh*
— Casey Toner (@ctoner) June 16, 2022
Just watched the venues announced for the 2026 World Cup in the US, and boy it looks good but surprised that only 2 Cities from Canada, and a surprise for me was no Chicago. Great news for Kansas City, Mexico 3 cities so pretty spread out.
— Gordon Hill (@gordonhill54) June 16, 2022
We’ve known this would happen for years but still weird to see 11 World Cup host cities in this country (including Kansas City) but Chicago is not one of them https://t.co/OTrufsVERn
— Dan Mihalopoulos (@dmihalopoulos) June 16, 2022
Chicago was a host city for the 1994 World Cup.