FIFA World Cup 2026™

FIFA World Cup 2026™

Candidate Host City: Denver

Denver skyline at dusk
© imago images

Denver has the skills and resources to create a world-class sporting event that matches the high standards of international football. 

Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026™ games in Denver would provide lasting experiences for the young people in attendance, and the community planning leading up to the event would engage youth teams at all levels, allowing them to be a part of history.

As the capital of Colorado and the largest city in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S., Denver is also one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. The city was originally settled after fortune-seekers were drawn to Denver during the gold rush of 1858 and quickly built shelters on the banks of the South Platte River. The city later became a supply and transportation hub to support mining operations in the mountains. Known as “The Mile High City,” Denver sits at an elevation of 1,609 m above sea level and lies where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. 

Denver is one of the country’s most vibrant sports cities, having been called “Sports Town, USA” because of its legendary fan support and its seven professional sports teams. It has successfully hosted Major League Baseball All-Star Games and other prestigious events like the NCAA Frozen Four ice hockey championship, men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four basketball championships, World Series and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Denver has hosted more than 30 international football matches, including national teams and club teams from throughout the world.

Football is one of the area’s favorite pastimes. More people play the game in the city, the state and the Rocky Mountain region than any other sport. Denver is a city that wholly embraces the sport of football; with over 100,000 participants competing through the Colorado Soccer Association system, and passionate support of the sport at the youth, collegiate, and professional levels. 

Denver has the infrastructure to host international matches. Empower Field at Mile High has entertained millions since its opening in 2001 and is undergoing various upgrades and improvements specifically for FIFA compliance. Denver successfully hosted several international football matches that eclipsed the 50,000-fan mark, including Mexico vs. Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Other high-profile football matches in the city include Manchester United vs. Roma (2014), MLS All-Star Game (2007 and 2015), U.S. Women’s national team vs. Japan (2016), U.S. Men’s national team vs. Trinidad and Tobago (2017) and the CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C doubleheader (2017). Denver also hosted the well-known “SnowClasico” — the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier match between USA and Costa Rica in 2013.