The Rose Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the under-construction Rams-Chargers football stadium in Inglewood were among 49 potential venues revealed Tuesday as part of a joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada sent “requests for information” to officials in 44 cities that house the various stadiums being considered as potential venues. The request essentially asks cities to declare if they want to be part of the hosting bid.

Cities that declare their interest by Sept. 5 will then be reviewed by the bid committee, which will develop a shortlist by late September. The committee will then meet with various city officials before ultimately identifying 20 to 25 venues that will be included in the final hosting bid to FIFA, soccer’s governing body. Bid officials said they anticipate at least 12 cities to ultimately be chosen as official host cities.

Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats to host early “group stage” matches, and at least 80,000 seats to host the opening match and the final.

“The host cities included in our bid will be critical to its success — not only because of their facilities and ability to stage major events, but because they are committed to further developing the sport of soccer by harnessing the impact of hosting a FIFA World Cup — and looking beyond the game itself to make a positive contribution to our communities and the world,” said John Kristick, United Bid Committee executive director. “We have had a great response so far and we’re looking forward to working closely with each city and determining the best venues for our official bid that we’ll submit next year.”

The North American bid is expected to face competition for the 2026 tournament from Morocco. FIFA is expected to make a decision next June.

–City News Service

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