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Philadelphia’s semiquincentennial Independence Day celebrations and annual fireworks over the Ben Franklin Bridge will need to make even more room in 2026, as a match from one of the world’s biggest sporting events will also be in the city on the Fourth of July.
The 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup will have five group stage games in June and a round of 16 game on July 4 at Lincoln Financial Field.
“The worldwide excitement of the World Cup is coming to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection,” Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said in a statement. “That means soccer fans from the city, region, country and the world will come to Philadelphia on those dates — including a match on the Fourth of July. Our world-class hotels, restaurants and every aspect of our hospitality and tourism sectors will be ready for our visitors.”
The City of Brotherly Love and the 15 other host cities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, learned the dates they will host the 104-game schedule of 2026’s soccer showcase across June and July Sunday during an afternoon ceremony, broadcast from the Telemundo Center in Miami.
Comedian and Philly native Kevin Hart joined Fox Sports personality Jenny Taft, sportscaster Andres Cantor, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and other soccer stars and dignitaries in the Miami ceremony.
The full schedule of matches at the Linc includes the following days:
- June 14 – Match 9
- June 19 – Match 29
- June 22 – Match 42
- June 25 – Match 55
- June 27 – Match 68
Round of 16
- July 4 – Match 89
The home of the Philadelphia Eagles most recently played host to an international soccer match when Mexico faced Germany in October.
“This is not just a tournament, but the largest sporting event ever, and an extraordinary opportunity to showcase our vibrant culture, our hospitality, our passion, and our grit on an international stage,” Philadelphia Soccer 2026 chairman Dan Hilferty said in the statement.
The tournament opener will be on June 11 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the venue that will become the first to hold three tournament openers after already being the first to host the final twice, in 1970 and 1986.
The tournament final on July 19 will be held at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium — labeled as a New York/New Jersey venue for the tournament — the venue beat out the previously reported favorite AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
As a lifelong soccer fan, I am thrilled to announce that the FIFA World Cup 2026 Final will be hosted by New Jersey and New York City! See you in 2026! #WeAreNYNJ #WeAre26 #FIFAWorldCup ⚽ pic.twitter.com/GfqiXtbYvL— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 4, 2024
The other stadium in the conversation for the final, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., will host the United States team’s opening game on June 12, as well as the team’s final group stage match on June 25. Seattle’s Lumen Field hosts the match in between on June 19.
Most teams still have to qualify for the tournament in matches between September 2023 and March 2026, but the three host nations are already guaranteed spots. Sunday’s ceremony also revealed where each host team’s base camp location, with the U.S. posted in Southern California.
During the ceremony, Taft said every host team would play its games on home soil.
The 23rd edition of the World Cup will have 48 nations, the largest field in the finals stage of the tournament. FIFA announced that it was expanding the number of originally planned games, to maintain the four teams in each tournament group. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar had 32 teams competing over 64 games.
The year will mark the U.S.’s semiquincentennial, the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which will already pack the city’s summer with parades, parties and ceremonies around July 4.
Philly is also set up to be a center of the year’s sporting landscape. Running in tandem with the World Cup in 2026 will be the MLB All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park in July, the 108th PGA Championship at Delaware County’s Aronimink Golf Club in July, and first- and second-round games of NCAA men’s March Madness basketball earlier in the year.
“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,” Meg Kane, Host City Executive for Philly said in the statement.
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