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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Rates for the 2024 Best Venue Awards increase this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET

SoFi Stadium’s World Cup Host Status In Jeopardy

  • SoFi Stadium has been selected by FIFA as one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
  • Issues are arising over the venue's specifications and how revenue from the tournament will be shared.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When FIFA was determining venues for the most important matches of the 2026 World Cup, SoFi Stadium was seen as one of the few frontrunners to land the tournament’s final.

But Stan Kroenke, who owns the stadium and one of its two NFL tenants, the Los Angeles Rams, has been at odds with FIFA over revenue sharing for the event — and it’s a battle of billions. 

SoFi Stadium was constructed at a record price for a North American stadium of $5 billion, and the most recent men’s World Cup in Qatar brought in more than $8 billion in 2022. But FIFA Is believed to have narrowed down its options to host the final to two lucky bidders: MetLife Stadium just outside of New York City, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

With SoFi out of the mix for the final, concern is growing that it may not host any World Cup matches at all. ESPN soccer journalist John Sutcliffe reported that the stadium is close to being out as a World Cup host venue. Beyond the aforementioned spat with FIFA, he also cited design flaws that make it difficult to accommodate a soccer pitch.

SoFi Stadium, which opened in September 2020, is far and away the premier venue in Southern California, but there are other potential options if FIFA chooses to call an audible. 

The L.A. Coliseum and Rose Bowl have been staples of college football and could fit close to 100,000 fans each. The Los Angeles Galaxy and LAFC each have soccer-specific stadiums, but neither fit more than 30,000 fans.

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