Houston to get seven World Cup matches

Not bad.

Houston will host seven matches in the 2026 World Cup.

In the expanded 48-team tournament, NRG will host a Round of 32 match on June 29 and a Round of 16 match on July 4. The group stage matches will be on June 14, 17, 20, 23 and 26.

“We had been expecting between five and eight, so seven is a good number,” said Chris Canetti, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority Executive and President of the Houston 2026 World Cup Host Committee. “There was no bad outcome. Whatever number we heard was going to be good for Houston.

“It’s a nice mix with five group games and then two knockout games when the level of intensity goes up.”

Houston can expect to see a variety of teams from across the different groups as FIFA will organize teams more geographically for group play to ease travel burdens on teams and fans.

The final will be played at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on July 19.


The next big date for Houston will come in December of 2025 when game assignments will be made.

After the 2026 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, work will begin at NRG to convert the playing surface to grass.

Instead of a temporary process that was used when the Texans played on grass, the plan is to build and install the surface as if it were going to be permanent.

See here and here for some background. I’ll be interested in seeing how that process to transform the field surface goes. They won’t have much margin for error given the timeline. Dallas managed to get nine matches, though they missed out on hosting the final. I can’t wait for this and hope we knock it out of the park, and then get to host some other events soon after.

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