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Bay Area will be a World Cup 2026 host

World Cup 2026
General View of match action at Levis Stadium during the International Champions Cup 2017 match between Real Madrid v Manchester United at Levi’a Stadium on July 23, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images) | Source: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

The Bay Area will be one of the 16 locations across North America that will host the men’s World Cup 2026 soccer matches, the sport’s governing body FIFA announced Thursday.

Organizers of the Bay Area’s bid to be among the hosts held a watch party Thursday at Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara venue that will host the World Cup. Seattle, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Miami, Boston and Philadelphia are the other U.S. locations that will host World Cup matches, while Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico will also host matches.

The Bay Area also hosted men’s World Cup matches in 1994 and the 1999 women’s World Cup semifinal.

“This event is a huge win for Santa Clara and the region,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said in a statement after the announcement of the successful bid to be a host city. “We are beyond excited to bring FIFA World Cup to Levi’s Stadium. Not only are we getting a world-class soccer event for the public to enjoy, but these games will be a massive economic generator for our community.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom touted the Bay Area and Los Angeles both getting the opportunity to host matches.

“California is a beacon of hope for immigrants from across the globe and we’re excited to show the world our global community here in our own backyard as hosts for the World Cup in four years,” Newsom said.