The Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland has announced a joint bid from Washington DC and Baltimore to host the FIFA World Cup 2026.
If successful, this would mean that all matches would be played at the M&T Bank Stadium in central Baltimore, Maryland whilst Washington DC would host a FIFA Fan Festival that enhances the reach of soccer across the nation.
“I am extremely excited to join forces with the District of Columbia to strengthen our bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026,” noted Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring another world-class event to Charm City.
“Mayor Bowser and I want to ensure we give our cities the best opportunity to win this major event which will provide massive economic boosts for both urban centres.”
The proposed FIFA Fan Festival on the National Mall and adjoining Pennsylvania Avenue will be held in conjunction with the United States’ celebration of its 250th anniversary on July 4th along ‘America’s Front Yard’.
City officials have estimated more than one million attendees, which has potential to become the largest single-day attendance number in FIFA Fan Fest history.
Furthermore, it has been reported that both major cities have already begun discussing ‘merging the best that both bids had to offer’ from security and regional transportation to fan engagement and legacy programming, in a bid to deliver a better experience for fans and provide the region with a ‘lasting positive impact’.
“We are thrilled to team up with our sister city to bring the FIFA World Cup 2026 to the Sports Capital,” added Washington DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser. “We know that the Washington-Baltimore bid is a winning bid.
“We’re a sports city, we’re a soccer city, and people from across the nation and around the world will want to be in and near DC in the summer of 2026 when we celebrate our nation’s 250th birthday. When you bring all that energy to the greatest tournament in the world, across two fantastic American cities, that is going to be an unforgettable experience.”
Max Brown, DC2026 Advisory Board Co-Chair shared his excitement in partnering Baltimore, expressing that this bid brings together the ‘best of both cities’.
He added: “We look forward to having FIFA and its delegates in DC for meetings, practices, the biggest FIFA Fan Festival, and are confident that our region will exceed expectations in delivering an innovative, powerful, and fun fan experience.”