With the 1000 days to go until the 2026 World Cup mark passing about a month and a half ago, and the 1000 days to go until the final game of the World Cup mark passing very recently (October 23, 2023), the excitement still emanating from the 2022 World Cup has been slowly building back up. To add to this bundle of excitement and anticipation, Seattle has been named as one of the host cities for the next World Cup. This announcement has given the world a chance to visit Seattle and, more importantly, in the words of Peter Tomozawa (CEO of the Seattle Local Organizing Committee for the World Cup), given the city of Seattle “[a goal of bringing] Washington to the world.”
To see all of the events that will culminate in the World Cup coming to Seattle and will define it for the next few years, here is a brief timeline of things that have happened and dates to mark on your calendar:
- March 15, 2018: The united bid for hosting the World Cup between the United States, Canada and Mexico announces a list of 23 candidate host cities to be included in their proposal to FIFA (Seattle is one of the cities that is included).
- June 13, 2018: At the 68th gathering of the FIFA Congress in Moscow, the united hosting bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico is awarded hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
- June 16, 2022: After multiple rounds of host city selections, FIFA announces a finalized list of 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in the United States, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey in Mexico, and Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. FIFA also announced that for the games played in Seattle, Lumen Field will be the designated venue.
- August 2022: The Seattle City Council passes a bill that grants the Seattle International Soccer Hosting Local Organizing Committee permission to organize all events and handle the logistics of hosting World Cup games (FIFA requires a dedicated local organizing committee in every host city for the World Cup).
- June 20, 2023: The Seattle Local Organizing Committee enters into an official supporter agreement with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, reaffirming a commitment to (in the words of CEO Peter Tomozawa) “[creating] a people-based legacy focused on community [and] culture” and marking the first time in World Cup history that an indigenous community has entered into a supporter agreement with a host city.
- June 2026: The opening date of the 2026 World Cup, which has not been officially announced, is projected to be sometime in early to mid-June of 2026.
- June 2026 to July 2026: FIFA requires every host city to have an official FIFA Fan Fest, and Seattle will host its Fan Fest at Waterfront Park every day of the World Cup.
- July 19, 2026: On March 16, 2023, FIFA announced that the date of the 2026 World Cup Final would be on July 19, 2026.