Levi's Stadium in contention to host World Cup games in 2026

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One of the biggest sporting events in the world could be coming to the Bay Area. Seventeen U.S. Stadiums are in contention to host the World Cup, including Levi's Stadium. (KGO-TV)

Levi's Stadium could host one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

FIFA members approved the U.S., Canada and Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup . Seventeen U.S. Stadiums are in contention, including Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

The world's largest sporting event will return to the United States for the first time since 1994. The 'United Bid' included the US, Canada and Mexico, and beat out Morocco.

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"You've got kids everywhere playing every day, taking their soccer balls under their arms to school with them, like it was when I was a kid," said Tobias Guillemin of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League. "Now it's just going to explode."

Last year, the Bay Area Host Committee submitted a proposal as part of the bid, which includes 23 locations across North America that are vying for 16 spots where matches would be played. Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara is among the sites being considered by FIFA officials. Avaya Stadium in San Jose could serve as a training site.

"We have great hotels, we have great practice facilities, we have a transportation system," said Bay Area Host Committee executive director Patricia Ernstrom. "A lot of the things that FIFA and the United Bid are looking for in a community, we have that, and on top of that we have great fans." 52:41

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Members of the San Jose Sports Authority says the region's diversity adds more strength to the bid.

"We're a melting pot for the country," said San Jose Sports Authority executive director John Poch. "The diversity we have and the love we have for soccer here, it's a perfect fit."

San Jose Earthquakes President Tom Fox believes the announcement will help grow the sport in more ways than one.

"It's a great way for kids to sort of look at the world, understand the world and have a dialogue about what's happening in cultures all over the world through the sport of soccer," said Fox. "That's unique to this game."

The 2026 final is already slated for New York City, but the Bay Area should learn by 2020 if is selected to host a different round.

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sportssocceru.s. soccerFIFAfifa world cupWorld Cupu.s. & worldLevi's StadiumSanta Clara
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