MUSIC CITY SNUBBED: Nashville Not Chosen by FIFA as Host City for 2026 World Cup

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Nashville has not been chosen as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, FIFA announced this afternoon live on FS1. The games would have been played at Nissan Stadium, the 23-year-old home venue of the NFL‘s Tennessee Titans.

Specific dates and matchups will be announced in the year leading up to the event. Tentative dates are sometime between November 2025 and March 2026.

When the process first began, there were 41 cities and 43 venues that submitted bids. Since then, there have been a handful of bids withdrawn and two rounds of cuts. For the final host selections, there were 23 total venues in contention. The United States had 17 of those 23 options, while there were three apiece in both Canada and Mexico. Of those 23, Nissan Stadium has the 12th biggest capacity at 69,143.

It will be the first World Cup with FIFA’s new format that expanded the field from 32 to 48 teams. The event will include a total of 80 matches split across the United States (60), Canada (10) and Mexico (10).

Nashville Has Hosted Big Events

Some of the key attributes FIFA was looking for in the 2026 World Cup host cities were location, transportation, hotels and infrastructure. According to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, a record 16.1 million tourists came to Music City back in 2019. Hospitality in the area is a $7.5 billion industry, and generates 1/3 of all visitor spending in the state of Tennessee.

Just this past week, CMA Fest brought 80,000 people downtown. The four-day event had fans coming in from all 50 states and 39 countries.

Back in 2019, Nashville set an all-time NFL Draft attendance record with 600,000 patrons flooding the Broadway area. There was an estimate of 200,000 people per day, wrapping with a Dierks Bentley concert on Saturday night.

“We lived up to the hype,” Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson said at the time. Unfortunately, Nashville was not given the opportunity to do it again in four years for this massive sports event.