WASHINGTON (AP) — FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, dropped out of bidding on Thursday to host games at the 2026 World Cup, and the Washington area merged its campaign with Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.
The joint bid would have a fan festival on the District of Columbia's National Mall.
FedEx Field, opened in 1997, was among the older facilities that initially bid in 2017. It hosted matches during the 1999 Women's World Cup. D.C.'s RFK Stadium was the site of matches during the 1994 men's World Cup and is slated for demolition.
Seventeen U.S. stadiums in 16 areas remain in the bidding for the World Cup, with the Los Angeles area submitting both SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, site of the 1994 World Cup final.
Three cities each in Canada and Mexico are bidding. The bid plan envisioned 16 total sites for the tournament, and FIFA has targeted mid-May for announcing site selections.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first with 48 nations and the first with three co-hosts. FIFA selected the bid as joint host in June 2018.
Sixty games are to be played in the U.S., including all from the quarterfinals on. Canada and Mexico are to host 10 games each.
The remaining areas and stadiums:
Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium; Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium; Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium; Denver, Empower Field at Mile High; East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts, Gillette Stadium; Houston, NRG Stadium; Inglewood, California, SoFi Stadium; Kansas City, Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium; Miami Gardens, Florida, Hard Rock Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee, Nissan Stadium; Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium; Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl; Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field; Santa Clara, California, Levi’s Stadium; Seattle, Lumen Field.
Edmonton, Alberta, Commonwealth Stadium; Toronto, BMO Field; Vancouver, British Columbia, B.C. Place.
Guadalajara, Estadio Akron; Mexico City, Estadio Azteca; Monterrey, Estadio BBVA.
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The Associated Press