The committee organizing the 2026 World Cup bid across the United States, Canada and Mexico announced a further round of cuts to the list of potential host cities on Wednesday. Philadelphia is among the 32 still standing, while Pittsburgh is among those now out of the picture.
Also eliminated were Birmingham, Ala.; Cleveland; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla; New Orleans; San Antonio; and two Canadian cities, Ottawa, Ontario and Regina, Saskatchewan.
"As we move to the next stage of the bid process, we're even more confident we have everything needed to deliver the largest, most compelling FIFA World Cup in history and help accelerate the growth of soccer across North America and around the world," bid chairman and U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "We have more than double the number of cities required to stage matches in 2026. We have a vision for growing the game and engaging fans as never before. Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to honor the enthusiasm of all the people across Canada, Mexico and the United States through the development of our united hosting concept."
The bid committee's press release Wednesday stated that representatives from all of the cities still in the race will travel to Houston during the week of Nov. 13 for meetings with the United Bid Committee. Philadelphia will be represented by Larry Needle, the executive director of PHL Sports, and potentially others.
Cities that did not make the cut will be offered other ways to be part of World Cup festivities if the North American bid is successful.
"We were so impressed by all the applicants that we will continue to engage with all the cities as part of our hosting strategy," bid committee executive director John Kristick said in a statement. "We will welcome the opportunity to work with FIFA to further expand our hosting concept to ensure the broadest possible impact for this spectacular event."
Wednesday's announcement offered no statement about how many cities will make the final cut. In September, the committee stated that the bid book will include 20 to 25 cities, and "at least 12 locations" will be picked to host games. The bid will be officially filed to FIFA by March 16, 2018.
Here are the cities still in the running, and their venues:
Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (capacity 75,000)
Baltimore: M&T Bank Stadium (capacity 71,008)
Boston/Foxborough, Mass.: Gillette Stadium (capacity 65,892)
Charlotte, N.C.: Bank of America Stadium (capacity 75,400)
Chicago: Soldier Field, (capacity 61,500)
Cincinnati: Paul Brown Stadium (capacity 65,515)
Dallas: The Cotton Bowl (capacity 92,100); AT&T Stadium (capacity 105,000)
Denver: Sports Authority Field at Mile High (capacity 76,125)
Detroit: Ford Field (capacity 65,000)
Houston: NRG Stadium (capacity 71,500)
Jacksonville, Fla.: EverBank Field (capacity 64,000)
Kansas City, Mo.: Arrowhead Stadium (capacity 76,416)
Las Vegas: New NFL stadium (capacity 72,000)
Los Angeles/Pasasdena: New NFL stadium (capacity 80,000, with potential to expand); Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (capacity will be around 78,500 after 2019 renovation); The Rose Bowl (capacity 87,527)
Miami: Hard Rock Stadium (capacity 65,767)
Minneapolis: U.S. Bank Stadium (capacity 63,000)
Nashville, Tenn.: Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143)
New York/East Rutherford, N.J.: MetLife Stadium (capacity 82,500)
Orlando, Fla.: Camping World Stadium (capacity 65,000)
Philadelphia: Lincoln Financial Field (capacity 69,328)
Phoenix/Glendale, Ariz.: University of Phoenix Stadium (capacity 73,000)
Salt Lake City, Utah: Rice-Eccles Stadium (capacity 45,807)
San Diego: Qualcomm Stadium (capacity 71,500)
Santa Clara/San Francisco/San Jose, Calif.: Levi's Stadium (capacity 75,000)
Seattle: CenturyLink Field (capacity 69,000)
Tampa, Fla.: Raymond James Stadium (capacity 73,309)
Washington, D.C./Landover, Md.: FedEx Field (capacity 82,000)
Edmonton, Alberta: Commonwealth Stadium (capacity 56,335)
Montreal: Olympic Stadium (capacity 61,004)
Toronto: BMO Field (capacity 36,000)
Vancouver, British Columbia: BC Place (capacity 55,165)