Inglewood is being considered as a potential host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, according to sources.
The still-under-construction stadium and future home of the L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers is in the running, along with Pasadena’s Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The venues are being looked at, organizers said, as part of a joint bid by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
Forty-four North American cities were asked to declare if they want to be part of the hosting bid. Cities that respond by September 5, in favor of hosting, will be included in a review process and a short list will be developed by late September.
If good fortune continues, Inglewood could add World Cup to its growing list of achievements in sports. So far, Inglewood has beat out Los Angeles, St. Louis, and San Diego as the NFL’s pick to house the Rams and Chargers; won the bid to host the Super Bowl in 2022; and will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The city is shaping up to once again live up to its nickname as the “City of Champions.”
If Inglewood makes the first round of cuts, it will be among 20-25 venues to be included in the final hosting bid to soccer’s governing body, FIFA. Bid officials said they anticipate at least 12 cities to ultimately be chosen as official host cities.
Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats to host early “group stage” matches, and at least 80,000 seats to host the opening match and the final.
Although Inglewood’s stadium won’t open until 2020, plans show the $2.6 billion venue has some impressive features and benefits such as 70,000-seats—including 250 luxury suites and 20,000 club suites—enclosed by a roof, made of transparent glass, which allow for natural lighting; is freeway close and just minutes away from LAX.
John Kristick, United Bid Committee executive director, said response to request letters has been great, and that commitment shown by host cities to the sport of soccer “will make a positive contribution to our communities and the world.”
Cities selected will be submitted to FIFA next year, and a decision will be made next June. The North American bid faces competition from Morocco.