Philadelphia Launches Bid to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup

Mayor Jim Kenney and Comcast's Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, David Cohen, hosted a press conference at Lincoln Financial Field, announcing Philadelphia’s plans to place a bid as host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. 

In June 2018, FIFA decided to designate hosting responsibilities for the 2026 World Cup to North America, and Philadelphia is one of 23 U.S. cities currently vying for the role. At the press conference, Kenney announced that Cohen will spearhead the city’s World Cup Bid Committee as the selection process continues. “To make the FIFA World Cup a reality in Philadelphia, we’re going to need support from both public and private sectors,” said Kenney, pointing to Cohen’s background at Comcast to describe why he’s the best fit for the job. The Bid Committee will be comprised of “corporate and civil leaders from the region,” said Cohen. 

Cohen highlighted Philadelphia’s successful track record in hosting events with a global profile as one of the major reasons why our city is the right fit for the 2026 World Cup. Citing the 2000 Republican National Convention, the papal visit of 2015, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Cohen said that Philadelphia’s pitch will revolve around our expertise in executing major events and creating a fantastic experience for all attendees. 

Kenney joined him in this sentiment by pointing to other major events the city will be celebrating in 2026, such as being nationally highlighted during the country’s 250th celebration of independence and hosting both the PGA Championship and Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Additionally, Kenney showcased the success of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup program as a microcosm of what the 2026 World Cup could be. Started by Kenney in 2016, the Unity Cup is held throughout several months in the summer and fall and celebrates Philadelphia’s diversity by uniting communities through competition. “In a time of hateful rhetoric against our immigrant communities, we are especially proud to be a city that opens its arms to people from all around the world,” said Kenney. 

Kenney and Cohen were also joined on stage by Telemundo 62's sport anchor, Jaime Becerri, Senior Vice President and CFO of the Philadelphia Eagles, Frank Gumienny, President and CEO of Philadelphia Convention Bureau, Julie Coker Graham, and President and Chief Creative Director at, Mark Gonzalez. Becerril shared his belief that the global consciousness created through Philadelphia’s World Heritage status will further fuel fans’ enthusiasm for the event. “We all know how passionate fans are in Philadelphia. The passion of our fanbase for soccer, and really every sport, will help the whole bidding process,” said Becerril. And the magnitude of that passion was shown as local kids swarmed the field once the conference ended to take shots at the goal on the other side of the field. 

Philadelphia’s 2026 World Cup Bid Committee will continue to update their official website with more information, and encourage Philadelphians to show their support by signing up for the Philadelphia 2026 Supporter Group. 


Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association