FIFA World Cup 2026™

FIFA World Cup 2026™

Candidate Host City: Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Hall at night
© imago images

Philadelphia was founded in 1682 and grew rapidly because of its port facilities, and was at the center of the Revolutionary War, becoming the birthplace of the nation when a group of dissatisfied colonists met there on 4 July 1776 to adopt the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800. Today, the City of Brotherly Love is a vibrant metropolitan city, the second largest on the east coast, and sixth largest in the country.

Philadelphia enjoys a football history that dates to the 19th century, and it was home to one of the earliest professional franchises in the nation; Phillies of the American League of Professional Football. The 1970s saw the Atoms and Fury of the North American Soccer League (NASL), and the 1980 to 90s saw the rise of indoor football with the Philadelphia Fever of the MISL, and Philadelphia KiXX of the NPSL. In 2003, Lincoln Financial Field opened with the highly anticipated, sold-out match featuring Manchester United and Barcelona, with 68,000 fans, and in the same year played host to the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003™ drawing 56,000 fans, among the largest crowds of the tournament.

In 2008, MLS awarded Philadelphia the 17th expansion team with the Philadelphia Union. While their first home game in 2010 was played in an NFL stadium, the Union play most of their games at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park), a 18,500-seat, football-specific stadium. Lincoln Financial Field remains the team’s secondary home, for matches with anticipated high attendances.

Philadelphia is host to five major sport teams: the Eagles (NFL), the Phillies (MLB), the Flyers (NHL), the 76ers (NBA) and the Union (MLS). Philadelphia boasts an enviable record of successfully hosting the nation’s biggest sporting events, including the NFL Draft, All-Star Games, NCAA championships, Olympic trials, the X Games and other events.