DC, Baltimore left off FIFA World Cup host city list

A big blow for the District and Baltimore — the two cities will not be hosting the 2026 World Cup

The region was named as a finalist but didn't make the cut to be one of the 16 markets in the U.S. Canada and Mexico.

FOX 5's David Kaplan went to Penn Social in downtown D.C. ahead of the announcement and said within a matter of minutes after the cities were unveiled, the atmosphere changed within the bar. 

Chris Soto is a soccer fan who's disappointed.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

"The fact that this is real now that this won't be a site in 2026, I was so excited to come down here like we had such a nice ambience here and then, like they read the last city … I'm like it's gonna be in New York. It has to be New York, but I was expecting D.C. to be one of the top three cities, and they disappointed," Soto said. 

Another patron said they were upset D.C. was not selected, but they plan to travel to one of the nearby cities to watch the soccer games. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser attended the Events D.C. event at Penn Social as well, just in case the D.C.-Baltimore region was chosen. She decided not to speak. 

But FOX 5 caught up with Events D.C.'s Ralph Morton who said the District went "all in." 

FIFA 2026 World Cup: Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Miami among host cities selected

"We put our best foot forward and partnered with the great city of Baltimore. And that's all you can do in life," he said. "You just gotta go all in and that's what we did.  You know it's ultimately FIFA's decision. So we respect that. And as I said, we congratulate the other cities." 

D.C. and Baltimore had originally submitted separate bids to host World Cup games, but then later decided to unify their bids. The pitch positioned the National Mall in D.C. as a fan center for the tournament, with the actual games being played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.