On Wednesday, Gillette Stadium was named the host for the 2023 Army-Navy Game. One day later, it was announced that an even bigger sporting event would be coming to town three years later: the FIFA World Cup.
The 2026 edition of the World Cup will be taking place in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the 16 host cities were unveiled on Thursday. Boston is among them, with the games set in the city to be played at Gillette Stadium:
“We are thrilled to welcome FIFA World Cup Soccer back to Massachusetts in 2026,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.
“The teams and their fans from around the world will be welcomed by the Commonwealth’s restaurants and attractions both in Boston and beyond and we are appreciative of Robert Kraft for his efforts as Honorary Chair of the United Bid to help bring the World Cup back to the United States, as well as the Boston Soccer 2026 Committee for its tireless work to secure Boston as a host city.”
The 65,878-seat Gillette Stadium has served as the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution since its opening in 2002. Both franchises as well as the arena itself are owned by Robert Kraft.
The Patriots posted a short video featuring tight end Hunter Henry to celebrate winning the bid to host the World Cup:
Boston was selected from a field of 22 finalist cities, with FIFA evaluating each candidate based on city and state infrastructure, transportation, stadium infrastructure, fan fest locations, training sites and human rights. The latter, of course, is a curious standard considering that the 2022 edition of the World Cup will be taking place in Qatar and has drawn harsh criticism from human rights groups across the globe.
As for Gillette Stadium, it is one of 11 NFL stadiums featured in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The others are MetLife Stadium (New York Giants/New York Jets), SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles Rams/Los Angeles Chargers), AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons), Lumen Field (Seattle Seahawks), NRG Stadium (Houston Texans), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles), and Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs).
Additionally, games will take place in Vancouver and Toronto as well as Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.