ARLINGTON, Texas – Some of the biggest names in Dallas sports gathered at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Sunday afternoon for the venue announcement of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
FIFA announced that Dallas and AT&T Stadium will host nine matches – the most of any venue – during the tournament, including one of the two Semi-final games.
"We are thrilled and honored by FIFA's decision to bring a World Cup Semi-final to North Texas in 2026,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt, who serves as the Dallas FIFA World Cup 26 Chairman. “We have a rich soccer history in Dallas/Fort Worth and this historic announcement not only underscores the world-class nature of our region but also cements our place in the global soccer landscape.”
Of the nine games, Dallas and AT&T Stadium will host five Group Stage matches as well as four Knockout Stage matches: two games during the Round of 32, one in the Round of 16 and, of course, one Semi-final.
“Out of nine games, we have four elimination-round games, and we have a match on the last Group Stage elimination day, so we have five fixtures that are do-or-die that are going to happen at this magnificent theater,” Hunt said. “There will be more drama that takes place here on this pitch than anywhere else in the entire World Cup bid…You will see drama unfold that has probably never been witnessed in any other World Cup in a single venue, except here at AT&T Stadium.”
“Growing up in Dallas, how cool is it that we’re hosting a Semi-final of the biggest event in the world,” said FC Dallas' Homegrown midfielder Paxton Pomykal, who’s played three times for the United States so far. “I’m thrilled. Hopefully the U.S. will be playing (in the Semi-final) and I’ll be playing, but if not hopefully I’ll be attending. This stadium is incredible, this city is incredible. (Hosting) nine games is a testament to the work everybody’s done in the city.”
The footprint of the World Cup goes much further than just the matches, of course. Dallas/Fort-Worth hopes to be the base camp for visiting national team squads, as well as the home of the International Broadcast Center and the Referee Headquarters for the duration of the tournament.
“The benefit of having nine matches is that we believe there will be more visiting national teams that pick the Metroplex as their home training center, with the probability of having elimination round matches here,” Hunt explained. “We’re also waiting on the Referee Headquarters to be designated. If we’re so fortunate to have it at Toyota Stadium, it’s my belief that we’d only have one visiting national team. If we don’t have (the Referee Headquarters), we could have two visiting national teams at Toyota Stadium. But the Metroplex is right to have many visiting national teams pick this area and use facilities like MoneyGram Soccer Park (in Dallas), Toyota Soccer Center (in Frisco), SMU, UTD, there’s a litany of them.
“We’re waiting on the International Broadcast Center announcement, hopefully that will be coming in the next few weeks. There are so many things coming to the Metroplex and we’re in the final running. This could still be the epicenter of the World Cup. The opportunity to have all of these visiting national teams, the International Broadcast Center, the Referee Headquarters, it just goes on and on. Our legacy of this 2026 World Cup will last not just generations, but much further than that.”