OTTAWA, ON (Oct. 24, 2017) – A new survey of adults in Canada, Mexico, and the United States confirms broad support for a United Bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. The survey found that 77 percent of North American residents are in favour of hosting the first-ever 48-team FIFA World Cup™, and 81 percent of respondents across the three countries agreed that hosting the tournament would be good for their specific country. With more than eight years until the event would take place, nearly six in 10 of those surveyed say they would be interested in attending FIFA World Cup™ matches if the games were played near where they live or work.
The survey was conducted by the international polling firm Ipsos and covered approximately 1,000 adults in each country. The full results of the survey, which were weighted to the North American population to not over represent Mexico, can be found here.
“Soccer’s reach and popularity have grown dramatically across North America, and this survey shows the potential for our region and for our sport to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ and make a huge contribution to the sport and its fans, here and around the world,” said Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer President and Chairman of the United Bid Committee. “To see this level of support, more than eight years before kickoff, demonstrates how deeply rooted soccer is across North America and what the success of the United Bid could mean for the sport’s growth in North America.”
“Like our partners in Mexico and the United States, Canada has a history of hosting FIFA World Cups and welcoming the world to our country in celebration of soccer and community,” said Steven Reed, Canada Soccer President and United Bid Committee Board Member. “We’ve seen diverse and wide support for hosting the tournament and view this as an opportunity to grow the game, expand Canada’s positive image in the world, and do a great deal for our country’s and region’s economies. Soccer’s future in Canada is bright.”
“Soccer in Mexico is a religion,” said Decio De Maria, the President of the Mexican Football Federation. “The support Mexicans are showing for our united efforts is outmatched only by our passion for the game of soccer. We have in place the infrastructure and long history of hosting FIFA World Cup™ matches. There is no doubt that hosting with our partners in Canada and the United States will allow us to grow the game into new areas across Mexico and export the excitement and desire Mexican fans bring to the game of soccer.”
Additional results from the survey include:
- Half of those who are supportive of the bid believe that co-hosting the games with their neighboring countries would boost the image of their nation around the world. In the United States and Canada, 53 percent of respondents said serving as stewards of the FIFA World Cup™ will help grow the game of soccer in their respective countries.
- Some of the top reasons for hosting the FIFA World Cup™ in each country include the anticipated economic benefits hosting the tournament would bring to the region and the spread of a positive image of the country around the world.
- Only 8 percent of those questioned are opposed to hosting the games, with those who do not follow the sport regularly especially likely to feel this way. When told, however, that a potential advantage of the United North American Bid is that no new stadiums will need to be built to host FIFA World Cup™ matches, dramatically reducing the financial burden on taxpayers or governments in Canada, Mexico and the United States, 79 percent said that fact makes them more supportive of hosting the tournament.
“These survey results demonstrate the strong support across all three countries to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ and reinforce that Canada is a leading soccer nation,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary and Canada Bid Director for the United Bid Committee. He added that “we will continue to work closely with our host city candidates to prepare a world class bid that will focus on how a North American bid will impact the growth of the game on our continent and around the world for players, fans and communities.”
“Our survey found strong support for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ across North America. Overwhelming majorities in each country are in favor of hosting the FIFA World Cup™ and believe that welcoming the world to Canada, Mexico and the United States will be a good thing not only for their countries, but also for the growth of the game of soccer in the region,” said Cliff Johnson, President of Ipsos North America. “The majority of people in North America support the United Bid because it will enhance their country’s image and economic standing. This support extends beyond so-called fans of the sport, demonstrating a broad sense that this United Bid will be good for the countries, region, and the game of soccer overall.”
Earlier this month, the United Bid Committee announced the 32 cities across North America that could serve as Official Host Cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. The 32 host city candidates include four cities in Canada, three in Mexico and 25 in the United States. Each of the 32 cities that may be included in the final bid submitted to FIFA features existing or already planned stadiums, other key infrastructure, and reflect the vast geographic and cultural diversity of North America.
The list of potential host cities can be found here. The United Bid Committee also announced that it is exploring ways for additional cities to be included in the bid effort.
As the United Bid’s efforts move into the next phase following the release of FIFA’s official hosting requirements and paperwork, the Committee also announced that more than 750 people are involved in developing or supporting the United Bid Committee’s efforts in Canada, Mexico and the United States.