FIFA Announces World Cup 2026™ Schedule, Atlanta to Host Eight Matches, Including Semifinal Match

ATLANTA (February 4, 2024) – In front of a global television audience earlier today, FIFA unveiled the Match Schedule for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ and Atlanta has been selected to host eight matches – including five group stage matches, a round of 32 match, a round of 16 match and a semifinal match – at Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the summer of 2026.

The dates of the Atlanta group stage matches will be June 15, 18, 21, 24 and 27. The round of 32 match will be July 1, the round of 16 on July 7 and the semifinal will take place July 15.

The FIFA World Cup 2026™ tournament draw will take place in December 2025. At that time, specific teams and matchups for Atlanta will be announced.

FIFA World Cup 2026™ will be the biggest sporting event in history, with 48 teams participating in 104 matches across 16 cities in North America. The event will feature a new tournament format while keeping the exciting 4-team group stage phase to ensure the ultimate football spectacle. The Opening Match will take place in Mexico City on June 11 and the Final Match will be held in New York/New Jersey on July 19.

“This is a momentous occasion and a true celebration of the beautiful game of soccer in our city,” said Arthur M. Blank, Chairman, Blank Family of Businesses. “The FIFA World Cup 2026™ brings people together in a way that transcends borders and makes this tournament an unforgettable journey for fans globally. We look forward to welcoming the world to Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium for eight matches, including a semifinal, in 2026.”

FIFA World Cup 2026™ will bring an economic boom to the region. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of fans who will descend on the city for the events, multiple locations in the region could also become official training sites for teams as they prepare.  An impact analysis by the Boston Consulting Group during the initial bid process in 2017-18 found that the FIFA World Cup 2026™ is forecasted to contribute $5 billion in new economic activity. Of that, $415 million alone is estimated in net economic benefit for Atlanta.

FIFA World Cup 2026™ will again be the most watched competition in the world. With an audience of 19 billion in 2022, it captured the attention of more viewers than the Summer Olympics, UEFA Champions League, Tour de France, Formula 1, the National Football League, and the Rugby World Cup combined. Approximately 50 percent of the entire world watched the FIFA World Cup.

“With world-class venues, accommodations, and our unmatched Southern hospitality, Georgia is ready to welcome the world to our capital city for the FIFA World Cup 2026™,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “With a strong record of hosting major sporting events, the people of our state are prepared and capable to meet the needs of this once-in-a-lifetime event and leave visitors with a reason to keep Georgia on their minds.”

Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026™ will continue to build upon the city’s growing legacy as the epicenter of soccer in the United States. Atlanta United launched as the most successful expansion franchise in the history of Major League Soccer since beginning play in 2017. The team holds nearly every attendance record and has won every major trophy in the league. In addition, U.S. Soccer is set to break ground on the first-ever National Training Center in 2024 just south of the city in Fayette County.  The National Training Center will be the new headquarters for all U.S. Soccer teams, coaches, referees, and players.

“Thirty years after the Centennial Olympic Games, Atlanta will once again host a global audience and some of the world’s greatest athletes for the FIFA World Cup 2026™,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “In that time, our city has continued to become a reflection of this beautiful game – we are diverse, inclusive and growing every day. Much like 1996, we will work with all our partners to ensure the FIFA World Cup 2026™ has a positive, equitable impact on our communities for generations.”

When North America secured the right to host FIFA World Cup 2026™ in June 2018, twenty-two cities competed for bids to host matches, with 16 receiving the nod in 2022. The Atlanta Sports Council led the bid effort, collaborating with state and local governments, Atlanta United F.C., Arthur M. Blank Sports + Entertainment, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to win the bid.

“Simply put, we believe that Atlanta is the best city in America to host a major sporting event and today’s announcement reinforces that,” said Dan Corso, Atlanta Sports Council and Atlanta World Cup Host Committee president. “Our experience hosting events of this scale has been invaluable, and this will be one of the greatest events our region has ever seen.”

For more information on Atlanta’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ and to get involved, please visit www.AtlantaFWC26.com.

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