FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021
Manager, Bid Coordination & External Affairs
Philadelphia Soccer 2026
PHILADELPHIA SOCCER 2026 TAKES NEXT STEP IN BID TO HOST
FIFA WORLD CUP 2026™ WITH VIRTUAL FIFA & U.S. SOCCER MEETING FOCUSED ON MATCH PLAY VENUE
PHILADELPHIA (March 23, 2021) – Today, representatives of Philadelphia Soccer 2026, the City’s official FIFA World Cup 2026™ bid committee, met virtually with officials from FIFA and U.S. Soccer, with the discussions focused on Lincoln Financial Field as the match play venue for hosting World Cup matches in Philadelphia in 2026.
Led by Philadelphia Soccer 2026 Chairman David L. Cohen, the 90-minute meeting focused on a variety of topics, including a variety of technical aspects, the field of play, the stadium’s distinctive attributes, commercial opportunities, and the player and fan experiences. Lincoln Financial Field has hosted major soccer events since it opened in 2003 with its inaugural event, a sold-out match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona. Since then, the 69,328-seat venue has successfully hosted the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Copa America Centenario, FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the U.S. Women’s National Team Victory Tour, and dozens of U.S. Men’s and U.S. Women’s matches as well as international friendlies.
Cohen described the meeting as professional and cordial, and praised the collaborative spirit demonstrated by the FIFA and U.S. Soccer representatives. “When we talk about Philadelphia’s big event pedigree and its ability to host the FIFA World Cup, our confidence doesn’t just stem from the success of the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the 2015 Papal Visit, and the 2017 NFL Draft,” said Cohen. “It stems from the knowledge that Lincoln Financial Field has been a trusted venue and partner for international soccer events since it opened. It’s a world-class facility with a top-notch team that knows how to deliver an outstanding experience for teams and fans alike. Each time we speak with FIFA and U.S. Soccer, there is the sense that Lincoln Financial Field is a venue that they know well, with an Eagles operating team that they respect, and would be well received by all stakeholders as a host site for World Cup play.”
Cohen also noted that today’s meeting provided the City with another opportunity to highlight the City’s strong bid – covering the vast and superior soccer infrastructure in the City, the walkable nature of the City, its robust public transportation infrastructure, its strong hospitality assets, and the critical legacy benefits described in the bid.
After being briefed on today’s meeting, Mayor Jim Kenney offered his support of the process, saying, “We know that Philadelphia is a great city, and we thank FIFA and U.S. Soccer for the ongoing opportunity to showcase how we can provide an unforgettable experience to teams, athletes, sponsors, and fans from around the world. I believe we have all the key pieces of infrastructure to host the World Cup successfully, especially given our stadium and the quick access to it from Center City, whether by car or public transit. We look forward to our ongoing conversations with FIFA and U.S. Soccer and look forward to welcoming them here in person when it is safe to do so.”
Additional virtual meetings are expected in the coming months and an in-person site visit by FIFA and U.S. Soccer is anticipated for all 17 candidate host cities later this year. Philadelphia’s first bid presentation occurred virtually on July 10, 2020. The final selection of the 10 host cities awarded World Cup matches is not expected to be announced until late 2021.
For additional information regarding Philadelphia’s bid for FIFA World Cup 2026™, please visit: www.philadelphia2026.com. Additional bid assets can be accessed for download here.
About Philadelphia Soccer 2026
Philadelphia Soccer 2026 is Philadelphia’s civic committee overseeing the region’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026™. Established in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is governed by a five-person Board of Directors, which includes representatives from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (the sponsoring entity of the bid) and the City of Philadelphia.