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Organizers leading a North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup trimmed its list of potential host cities to 32 on Wednesday, and 254 cities in the United States remain in the running as venues for soccer’s showcase event, The Washington Post reported.
The U.S. front-runners include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, the Post reported. Other American cities in the running were Baltimore; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; and Tampa, Florida.
U.S. cities eliminated from consideration were Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; and San Antonio, Texas. The two Canadian cities dropped from the list were Regina and Ottawa.
The World Cup was last staged in North America during the summer of 1994.
If the North American bid is successful, the United States would stage 60 matches in about a dozen venues, the Post reported. Mexico and Canada would have 10 games apiece.
All three Mexican bidding cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey) are widely expected to make the final cut. Canada will probably settle for two venues, with Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton in the running.
Representatives from the remaining cities will meet in Houston next month for a working session with the United Bid Committee. FIFA — soccer’s international governing body — will announce the winner in June, the Post reported.