Philadelphia scores a major milestone as the focus of the soccer world will be on the birthplace of America as the United States celebrates 250 years in 2026.
On Sunday, FIFA officials unveiled the full match schedule, including the games that will be played here in Philadelphia for the 2026 World Cup. The biggest game is a Round of 16 match on Jul 4, 2026.
"It's going to be an absolute spectacle," Philadelphia Soccer 2026 host city executive Meg Kane said said hours after the announcement that Philly was getting a knockout stage match.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Philadelphia sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
When will 2026 FIFA World Cup Games be played in Philadelphia?
"We go big or we go home," new Philadelphia Representative Jazelle Jones told reporters at a Monday news conference.
Philadelphia was given five group stage matches set to be played at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The first one will be Match No. 9 held on June 14, 2026.
However, with the focus of the United States on the semiquincentennial, a World Cup elimination match will be part of the sports world focusing on Philly.
Philadelphia’s final match will be a round-of-16 meeting on July 4, the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park hosts baseball's All-Star Game, likely on July 14.
Philadelphia will also host matches 29, 42, 55 and 68.
“We are ecstatic that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will host 6 matches, including the Fourth of July during the 250th celebration of the United States and we are deeply grateful to our committed partners who helped position us so well for this honor,” Kane said in a news release. “The public release of this highly-anticipated match schedule allows us to accelerate planning around transportation mobility, safety and security, and specifically how the tournament will interface with the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the United States and the MLB All-Star Game."
The full Philadelphia 2026 World Cup schedule is as follows:
- Group Stage: June 14
- Group Stage: June 19
- Group Stage: June 22
- Group Stage: June 25
- Group Stage: June 27
- Round of 16: July 4
The countries that will play in Philly won't be revealed until much closer to the global soccer tournament.
“The match schedule for FIFA World Cup 26 showcases the scope of what 2026 will mean for our communities, our City, and the Commonwealth as a whole,” Daniel Hilferty, that chairman of Philadelphia Soccer 2026 and chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, said in a news release.
“It’s exciting news for soccer fans and for Philadelphia that six matches will be played here in our great City as part of FIFA World Cup 26 in June and July,” Mayor Cherelle Parker said.
FIFA officials did not publicly explain their site-decision process.
Anyone hoping to go will need to wait to get tickets. Kane said Monday that FIFA will handle ticketing and details could still be at least a year away.
From security to public transit, planning is underway
Jones and city hospitality leaders noted how much work will need to be done over the next two years.
At least 500,000 people are expected in the city during the tournament, but that number could be even higher -- into the millions, Kane said.
All those people means lots of preps. The planning process began all the way back in 2017 after Philly hosted the NFL Draft, organizers said. It ramped up after Philly was announced as a host city.
“The unveiling of the FIFA World Cup 26™ match schedule marks a pivotal moment for our city and its hospitality community as we prepare to welcome the world in 2026," Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a news release. "With each of the six matches having the impact of a standalone mega-event, akin to a citywide convention, we anticipate a surge in economic activity across the region."
Each match will need about 26,000 "room nights" to accommodate everyone expected to flock toward the action, Caren said Monday. That means the suburban counties will also see a boost in hotel bookings.
Officials also said that local, state and federal law enforcement authorities will coordinate to protect everyone during the games. The security plans are ongoing, organizers said.
The planning committee is also working with SEPTA for the public transportation plan.
The 2026 World Cup final will be played at MetLife Stadium in North Jersey.
Kane noted that Philly's proximity to the New York City region could lead to overflow fanfare in the City of Brotherly Love even after the World Cup games here end.
"Public transportation and SEPTA are going to be crucial to that," Kane said.
How much will all this cost?
Organizers are still looking into the specific economic impact expected from the event and how much money will come into the region.
The total costs to put on the World Cup games will likely be in the $130 million to $150 million range, Kane said. The soccer organizing committee has been fundraising for years to help pay for it.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.