Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta - World Cup 2026

World Cup on Steroids – USA, Canada, and Mexico 2026

I will start with the reason why I chose the word “Steroids” for the title. It’s not about the amount of money hosts will invest. I mean, who will pass the cost of the previous World Cup when Qatar spent $220 billion? We might see something similar in a few decades, and I still doubt that the total spending would get near this one.

The title is about the increase in revenue that FIFA will get from the next tournament. It is projected to be $11 billion, which will cover all the investments, which are estimated to be $10.9 billion. But FIFA is not looking solely at the tournament. They are separating their budget in cycles. So, the current one is the cycle 2023-2026. And data are quite surprising, we can notice a projected rise in all aspects.

Financial comparison between cycles


When it comes to cities that will host the WC, we are yet to see the financial data, including projected revenues and investments. But what we know by now is that some cities already shared their initial projections. For Atlanta, the projection says that the city will invest around $5 billion, and the minimum revenue will be a net economic benefit of over $400 million.

The first projections from Toronto about their expenses proved inaccurate since the latest charts are showing a total cost that is $80 million more than thought, and is now at $380 million. The good news for them is that the city of Ontario will give them $97 million for hosting the event. You can read more about this at SportsBusinessJournal.

Keep in mind that these are only projections. Things could change, especially when it comes to financial terms. One of them is inflation which can easily increase the overall expenses. However, revenue from games played in different cities across the US, Mexico, and Canada is less important for their economies. it’s more about the tourists that will flood many cities in these countries. And since the US will host the most games, it is expected they will benefit the most.

For example, “During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Airbnb hosts welcomed almost 300,000 guests and earned a collective income of $40 million in just one month.” As said by Mike Sefton in his report on B Magazine. We expect to see much higher numbers for the upcoming event. The projected number of visitors for WC 2026 is over 5.5 million. The final game will be played at MetLife Stadium, with a capacity of over 87,000 people.

Now, let’s take a look at all the stadiums where we will watch the games.

Stadiums for WC 2026

Now, once again, I want to get back to the title, and explain the word “Steroids” I used there. While it won’t be the most expensive, it will surely become the best or first for many other things. So, the upcoming tournament will be the first to:

  • be held in 3 countries
  • to have 48 teams( 32 in Qatar)
  • to have 80 games( 64 in Qatar)

When it comes to financial details, it is estimated that the US will generate around $5 billion, while Canada and Mexico will reach profits of about $3 to $4 billion. Also, the projections say that each city that is hosting games can earn up to $480 million. These are quite impressive numbers considering that the event will last for a single month.

And that’s not all, the event will actually improve the relations between the three countries. That is especially important for Mexico, which is less developed and is facing various challenges. So, this might be an introduction to further collaborations and economic development of all three. Most people are positive about the event.

According to a study provided by Ipsos in 2017:

“Not only are most adults in North America supportive of the United States/Mexico/Canada co-hosting the men’s World Cup, but more
than eight in ten (81%) also agree it would be good for the country as a whole (compared to only 7% who think it would be bad for
the country, and another 12% who don’t know). Those in Mexico (85%) are especially optimistic about the effects of the bid on their
country, while Canada mirrors this pattern, though not quite to the same extent (82%). The proportion of Americans who believe that
the U.S. co-hosting the World Cup would be good for their country falls just below eight in ten (79%).”

I expect that the revenue from TV rights will also hit a new record. FIFA generated nearly $3 billion in Qatar, and that number can easily double in 2 years.

What we know by now is that SBS already made a deal with FIFA, worth $30 million, and they will have exclusive rights to broadcast all games.

All of these stats are once again the reason for me using the word “steroids”. It will be the first, biggest, and best for many things. And I honestly expect a proper spectacle there. I won’t share my favorites or anything, it is just too early to make any predictions. I just hope there will be some good soccer played.

And one more thing, this tournament might be the last time we will be able to watch two legends and their magic on the field, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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