FIFA World Cup 2026™

FIFA World Cup 2026™

Candidate Host City: San Francisco Bay Area

A cable car in San Francisco
© imago images

The San Francisco Bay Area encompasses the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose and is the cultural and financial hub of Northern California. It is home to rolling hills with historic streetcars; the iconic skyline with the Golden Gate Bridge; and influential corporations of the modern era, including Google, Apple, Facebook and others.

Sports have a deep-rooted history in the Bay Area with several celebrated franchises residing in cities across the region. Since 1967, the Bay Area has been home to professional football teams from San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland areas. The region has also hosted international matches during the 1984 Olympics, 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 1999™. In the recent past, Levi’s Stadium hosted the Concacaf Gold Cup, the Copa America Centenario and the International Champions Cup.

Along with those official competitions, the region has hosted hundreds of international exhibitions including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chivas, Club America and Bayern Munich. The San Jose Clash (now San Jose Earthquakes) were one of the original founding teams of Major League Soccer (MLS) and played host to MLS’ inaugural match before a sell-out crowd. At the collegiate level, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco have all won championships. The success of the professional and collegiate game has helped encourage the youth level participation, with over 500,000 children now playing football in the region. The San Francisco 49ers (NFL) were the Bay Area’s first professional sports team, founded in 1946. The organization has won five Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XIX hosted at Stanford University.

The San Francisco Giants (MLB) moved to the Bay Area in 1958 and have won three World Series championships in recent years. In 1962, the Golden State Warriors (NBA) moved to the Bay Area – since then they have become one of the most successful NBA franchises, while calling Oakland home. The Oakland Athletics (MLB) moved to Oakland for the 1968 season and have since won four World Series.