FIFA World Cup 2026™

FIFA World Cup 2026™

Candidate Host City: Seattle

A man handles a fish at Pike Place Market
© imago images

Founded in 1869, Seattle has thrived due to the timber industry, the Gold Rush and shipbuilding. Today, the Greater Seattle area is celebrated for its many high-profile innovative technology and biomedical companies. Seattle is also one of the healthiest and greenest cities in the nation and it is eager to stage an environmentally friendly event.

With arguably the most ardent and passionate fans in Major League Soccer (MLS), Seattle Sounders are a thriving club, while there are many youth players developing the game from a grassroots level. In addition, the RAVE Foundation is building urban, accessible football fields and futsal courts for free play, that is dedicated to open use by the community. The city is recognized as a bastion of the sport, with a storied tradition from the North American Soccer League (NASL), the United Soccer League (USL-1) and MLS.

Each and every step of the way Seattle has attracted large, passionate crowds for professional matches. In the early years of the NASL, the Seattle Sounders were consistently among the football league’s attendance leaders with more than 20,000 attendees per game. In 1976, an exhibition game with the New York Cosmos and Pele produced a sellout crowd of 58,000; a North American record at the time. The opening of Qwest Field (now CenturyLink Field) in 2002 generated crowds in excess of 66,000, hosting international friendly matches including Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Each of Seattle’s 2009 MLS matches were sold out at stadium capacity of 32,400. Seattle was the site for MLS Cup 2009 and an international friendly match with Chelsea and Barcelona that attracted 65,000 fans. Winners of MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019 and four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophies (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014), Seattle Sounders, and the 2014 Super Bowl Champions and three-time NFC Champions Seattle Seahawks, call CenturyLink Field home. The Seattle Mariners, owners of the MLB’s winningest season in the modern era with 116 wins in 2001, play next door at Safeco Field, one of the country’s finest baseball stadiums. The Seattle Storm, which won both the 2005 and 2010 WNBA World Championships, compete in the shadow of the Space Needle at KeyArena located at Seattle Center (the site of the 1962 Worlds Fair).