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Canada Soccer – DAILY RECAP – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
 
FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force continued its technical tour of the United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States with a trip to Atlanta —the second of four United Bid Candidate Host Cities that the Task Force will visit and evaluate during their trip. 
 
The first stop on today’s visit was a tour of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta United Training Facility. Designed to foster openness and an aspirational environment, this 33-acre facility features a 30,000 square-foot headquarter building and six full-size fields including three natural grass and three FieldTurf surfaces. With the headquarters facing towards the fields so academy players, front office employees and first team players can feel connected and focused on the club, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta United Training Facility promotes unity, further reinforcing our choice to include it as an option for a training facility in our United Bid proposal. 
 
Following the tour of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta United Training Facility, the Task Force headed to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the most sustainable sports venue in the world and the official home of Atlanta United. The stadium, which is the first professional sports stadium in North America to achieve LEED Platinum certification, features an impressive 42,500-seat soccer configuration which has the capability to expand even further to house over 70,000 fans. The stadium has also been home to record crowds—Atlanta United was able to break Major League Soccer’s single-match attendance record on October 22, 2017, when they housed 71,874 for their regular season match against Toronto FC. 
 
The last stop of the day was the Georgia World Congress Center, which opened its doors in 1976 with approximately 350,000-square-feet of exhibition space. Today, the Center features 1.4 million square-feet of exhibition space, making it the fourth-largest convention center in the United States. The Center has also been home to the International Broadcast Center and was used to host seven Olympic sporting events in 1996.

UNITY, OPPORTUNITY, AND CERTAINTY IN FOCUS

Today’s tour reinforced the United Bid’s commitment to FIFA’s new vision for the future of football. Our desire is to help share the FIFA World Cup™for the 21stcentury, by supporting FIFA and showcasing the power of football to meaningfully impact the world through a shared commitment to human rights and broader sustainability issues. Atlanta—one of the United Bid’s 23 qualified Candidate Host Cities—reflects these values: 

  • UNITY—Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in America and already has an impressive soccer following. Atlanta United boasts the highest average home attendance in Major League Soccer history with approximately 46,318 fans per game—more than any other MLS, NBA, NHL, or MLB franchise in the country.
  • OPPORTUNITY—With one of the most innovative and state-of-the-art stadiums in the country, Atlanta also hopes to use the 2026 FIFA World Cup™as a model for the way that new technology can transform the way people view and experience live sports. The city is a leader in environmental sustainability; Mercedes-Benz Stadium was the first stadium in the United States to receive USGBC LEED Platinum Certification. As a host city for the 2026 World Cup™, Atlanta would use the opportunity to further promote the game, as well as to use football educational programs to teach about environmental issues.
  • CERTAINTY—Atlanta has already proven to have the infrastructure, transportation, and facilities necessary to host major sporting events, including the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals (2013) and Semifinals (2015). The city will also host the upcoming 2018 MLS All-Star Game, 2019 Super Bowl LIII, and 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.  

PHOTOS FOR DOWNLOAD

FIFA Task Force visits the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta United Training FacilityClick to download photo*|
Atlanta United President Darren Eales talks with members of FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force as an Atlanta United FC training session goes on at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Facility.
 
FIFA Task Force visits the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta United Training FacilityClick to download photo*|
FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force tours the Atlanta United FC locker room at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Facility—one of more than 150 training sites included in the United Bid’s proposal to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
FIFA Task Force visits the Mercedes-Benz StadiumClick to download photo*|
FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force tours Mercedes-Benz Stadium–one of 23 stadiums included in the United Bid’s proposal to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
FIFA Task Force visits the Mercedes-Benz StadiumClick to download photo*|
FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force tours Mercedes-Benz Stadium–one of 23 stadiums included in the United Bid’s proposal to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
FIFA Task Force visits the Mercedes-Benz StadiumClick to download photo*|
FIFA’s 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force tours Mercedes-Benz Stadium–one of 23 stadiums included in the United Bid’s proposal to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
For additional photos, please email Fifatour@gpg.com. 
 
VIDEO B-ROLL AND INTERVIEWS FOR DOWNLOAD

Interview with Darren Eales, President of Atlanta United Click to download interview* |
Eales discusses the site visit to Atlanta by the FIFA Task Force, the message Atlanta delivered to FIFA and what it would mean for North America to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

Interview with Carlos Bocanegra, Technical Director of Atlanta United Click to download interview* |
Bocanegra discusses the site visit to Atlanta by the FIFA Task Force and the message Atlanta delivered to FIFA.
 
Interview with Dan Corso, President of Atlanta Sports Council | Click to downloadinterview* |
Corso discusses the message Atlanta delivered to the FIFA Task Force and what it would mean for Atlanta to be a part of hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
For additional video content, please email Fifatour@gpg.com. 
 
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE
Throughout the technical tour, the United Bid will share updates on Twitter (@united2026).
 
TWEET OF THE DAY
@United2026
Next up, we’re going to be taking a tour of one of the most sustainable sports venues in the world – @MBStadium. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, it was the first professional sports stadium to achieve LEED Platinum in the U.S. #FIFATour2026 #Unity2026 #Certainty2026
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Atlanta can host a world class event. We’re hosting the Super Bowl—we’ve already hosted the college football championship. We’ll host the NCAA Final Four. 10,000 hotel rooms, a fantastic stadium with all the new technology…We’re really proud of this city, and we were able to show a bit of the fan culture here—the excitement in the city surrounding the soccer team, and just how much that would grow and exponentially be greater if we were able to host a World Cup here,” said Carlos Bocanegra, former U.S. Men’s National Team Captain, Vice President and Technical Director, Atlanta United FC, and member of the United2026 Board of Directors.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
This evening, the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force travels to Toronto. Their remaining schedule includes:

  • Toronto: April 11 – April 12
  • New York / New Jersey: April 12 – April 13

CONTACTS
For additional questions, please contact:

About the United Bid Committee
The United Bid Committee was created by the National Federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
 
About The 2026 FIFA World Cup™
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure to ensure a successful tournament. The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States is uniquely suited to accommodate FIFA’s high-level standards for hosting a FIFA World Cup™. If the United Bid is selected by FIFA as the host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, up to 16 Host Cities will be selected as venues for matches. Canada, Mexico and the United States also have a long and successful history as hosts – 13 FIFA World Cups™ have been hosted in Canada, Mexico and the United States, five of which have set attendance records.