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South Florida, get ready to experience the equivalent of seven Super Bowls in the span of a month.
The 2026 World Cup schedule was announced on Sunday afternoon, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens was selected to host seven matches: Group Stage matches June 15, 22, 24, 27; a Round of 32 match July 3, a Quarterfinal July 11 and the Bronze Medal Game July 18.
“Very exciting times,” said Miami Host Committee co-chair Rodney Barreto.
“We’re blessed because Hard Rock Stadium, chairman Tom Garfinkel, he and his crew know how to do big events. They handle the stadium and we have nothing to worry about. We’ll do some great activations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach. This is what we do best, right? We’ve hosted 11 Super Bowls. They’re coming to a community that is not the hottest city in America, it’s the hottest city in the world.”
The arrival of soccer icons David Beckham and Lionel Messi to Inter Miami “has amplified the noise in Miami,” Barreto said. “Everybody wants to be here.”
Asked if Beckham and/or Messi have committed to helping the Miami host committee in the buildup to the tournament, Barreto would not comment, but he confirmed Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas will be involved.
Barretto said the area is World Cup-friendly with three international airports, 130,000 hotel rooms, beaches and plenty of dining and entertainment options. FIFA, the world soccer governing body, opened a headquarters office in Coral Gables last year and CONCACAF, the soccer governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, has its home base in downtown Miami.
“That just shows you their commitment to the region and our city, that FIFA and CONCACAF opened offices here,” Barreto said. “It’s going to be easy for us as next door neighbors to just go over and see them, talk to them and put this thing together. It’s amazing. Their decision makers are right here in Miami.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino told the Miami Herald after the announcement: “Miami will be a crucial, crucial, crucial city for 2026. We are here. We organize everything from here. We feel very good here. It’s a wonderful city, very international city able to host several games, amongst which is the Bronze medal game, a very important game. It’s something we are happy and proud of for the city of Miami, the people of Miami, for all those who love soccer, or futbol, in Miami, and all those of us who are feeling like citizens of Miami.”
The 48-team tournament is being co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The event will kick off June 11, 2026 in Mexico City at 87,532-seat Estadio Azteca and conclude July 19 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The semifinals will be in Atlanta and Dallas. Overall, 78 of the 104 games will be in the United States.
The Mexican national team will play its three home group-stage matches in Mexico. The U.S. national team will play its opener June 12, 2026 in Los Angeles and all three of its group stage matches will be on the west coast, with the second game in Seattle on June 19 and the third back in Los Angeles on June 25.
Canadian host cities Toronto and Vancouver will each host five group-stage games, and the Canadian national team will open in Toronto on June 12.
In order to ease travel on the teams and fans, the host cities were grouped into clusters and teams will play within their cluster. The West Region is Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. The Central Region is Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Houston, Dallas and Kansas City. The East Region is Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey.
The World Cup 2026 Miami Host Committee will be spearheaded by Barreto, chairman and CEO of the Barreto Group and Beau Ferrari of NBCUniversal. They will be responsible for galvanizing business and community support in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. A source familiar with World Cup host city finances estimated that South Florida would likely need to raise between $50 million to $100 million to cover the costs.
Among the areas of focus for the organizing committee are security and traffic management.
“We will hire a world-renowned engineering firm and will have a transportation plan that is very sophisticated, just like we do for Super Bowls,” Barreto said. “Security will be a big issue, between all the counties we will have enough resources, and the feds will be involved like they are for Super Bowls. As far as infrastructure, we have all that in place. We don’t have to build anything.”
South Florida community leaders are already mobilizing for the massive event.
“This is a special time for ‘fútbol’ in Miami-Dade Count y as our community further embraces the excitement and passion that comes with the sport,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I am thrilled and excited to have Rodney and Beau step up as co-chairs of the Executive Host Committee and I am confident that they will bring together dedicated community leaders to put forward the best host community experience ever.
“I am equally excited to strengthen collaboration among state leaders, our 34 municipalities, business and philanthropic champions as the co-chairs build the Host Committee that will guide and fundraise for FIFA 2026 World Cup.”
David Whitaker, the President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, said:
“Miami-Dade County, in partnership with major venues, government partners, our municipalities and our hospitality industry have a multiple-decades-long history and track record of organizing and hosting many of the most iconic events in the world of sports and entertainment and FIFA World Cup 26TM will now ascend to the top of this list.”
Hard Rock Stadium has a long history of hosting Super Bowls and also is experienced in hosting international sporting events such as the Miami Open tennis tournament and Formula One auto racing.
“We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup 26TM at Hard Rock Stadium, in what will be an incredible moment for Miami-Dade County, its fútbol fans and the many businesses and residents who will benefit by Miami being at the epicenter of international sports,” said Garfinkel, vice chairman, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.
Ticket sales for the 2026 World Cup are expected to begin in 2025. To receive information on how to apply for tickets, register at FIFA.com