Birmingham on list of proposed World Cup 2026 locations

Legion Field Birmingham

 

Legion Field Birmingham
Legion Field

According to ESPN FC, the United Bid Committee (US/Canada/Mexico) for the 2026 World Cup announced a proposed list of 49 cities under consideration to host games for the world’s largest sporting event.

Birmingham’s Legion Field is on the list.

Legion Field
Legion Field – photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

From the ESPN FC news report:

Thirty-four cities in the United States, seven cities in Canada and three in Mexico are on the list of proposed locations to host games at the 2026 World Cup, the United Bid Committee announced on Tuesday.

The organizers will reach out to each of the cities on the list and those hoping to be selected will have until Sept. 5 to declare their interest.

Those cities will then have until early January 2018 to prepare their bid to become a World Cup host, if they make the initial shortlist, which is set to be announced in late September.

The organizers will reach out to each of the cities on the list and those hoping to be selected will have until Sept. 5 to declare their interest.

American Outlaws section at the U.S. vs Haiti Women’s friendly 2015 at Legion Field

Birmingham’s “Old Grey Lady” Legion Field turns 90 years old this week. Along with San Antonio, Birmingham is the only non-National Football League/Major League Soccer location under consideration.

Legion Field did make history in 1996 when it was the site of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s opening game of the Olympic soccer competition.

Here is a video of that game which started with the US scoring first, but eventually losing 3-1 to a powerful Argentinian team.

Will Birmingham “Go for it”

According to U.S. Soccer, in addition to a stadium capable of hosting international soccer, each city has to propose top international-level training sites and locations for team base camps, and hotels for teams, staff and VIP’s. The Bid Committee will also evaluate cities on their commitment to sustainable event management, aspirations to develop soccer, and the positive social impact they anticipate in the local community and beyond stemming from the event.

Will Birmingham “go for it” and put in a bid?

Stay tuned.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama’s Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama’s cancer risk and mercury standards.