CHICAGO - Forty-one cities in the United States, Mexico and Canada have submitted preliminary bids to host 2026 World Cup matches.
The North American bid committee said Thursday its proposal will be sent to FIFA in March. The bid is expected to include up to 25 cities. At least 12 cities would ultimately be selected if the FIFA Congress picks the joint bid when it votes in June 2018.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-nation field. Morocco said it also intends to bid.
Three sites were dropped from the preliminary list announced last month: Calgary; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and San Diego.
Just three stadiums that bid hosted games during the 1994 World Cup: Chicago's Soldier Field, Dallas' Cotton Bowl and Orlando, Florida's Camping World Stadium, formerly known as the Citrus Bowl. Soldier Field underwent a gut renovation in 2002-03.
Two of the sites on the list hosted matches at the 1994 at stadiums that have been replaced with new venues on adjacent land: East Rutherford, New Jersey; and Foxborough; Massachusetts.
Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group-stage matches and at least 80,000 for the opening game and final.
Thirty-two areas and 35 stadiums are on the list for the U.S., Canada has six cities and Mexico three. The proposed Canadian venues include Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, Montreal's Olympic Stadium, Ottawa's TD Place, Regina's Mosaic Stadium, Toronto's BMO Field and Vancouver's BC Place.
Three stadiums were submitted from the Los Angeles area and two from the Dallas area. The U.S. would host 60 of 80 games, including all from the quarterfinals on.
The bidding stadiums:
Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium; Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium; Birmingham, Alabama, Legion Field; Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America Stadium; Chicago, Soldier Field; Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium; Cleveland, FirstEnergy Stadium; Dallas, Cotton Bowl; Denver, Sports Authority Field; Detroit, Ford Field; East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Glendale, Arizona, University of Phoenix Stadium; Houston, NRG Stadium; Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium; Inglewood, California, LA Stadium at Hollywood Park; Jacksonville, Florida, EverBank Field; Kansas City, Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium; Landover, Maryland, FedEx Field; Las Vegas, Raiders stadium under construction; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Miami, Hard Rock Stadium; Minneapolis, U.S. Bank Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee, Nissan Stadium; New Orleans, Superdome; Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium; Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl; Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field; Pittsburgh, Heinz Field; Salt Lake City, Rice-Eccles Stadium; San Antonio, Alamodome; Santa Clara, California, Levi's Stadium; Seattle, CenturyLink Field; Tampa, Florida, Raymond James Stadium
Edmonton, Alberta, Commonwealth Stadium; Montreal, Olympic Stadium; Ottawa, Ontario, TD Place; Regina, Saskatchewan, Mosaic Stadium; Toronto, BMO Field; Vancouver, British Columbia, BC Place
Guadalajara, Estadio Chivas; Mexico City, Estadio Azteca; Monterrey, Estadio Rayados.
With files from The Canadian Press.