11. June 2026 - 0:00
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Fifa World Cup 2026 | Thursday, 11. June 2026

Thanks to Keith Hickey from MatchFitUSA.com

With FIFA having shown to the World on Thursday that it doesn't matter if you're an insignificant backwater, you too can host a World Cup if you throw enough money at it, I figured it was time to propose a long-standing dream of mine.

FIFA should award the 2026 World Cup to my home state of Pennsylvania.

It may seem odd that if the country as a whole could not land the tournament, one state alone could even have a chance, but bear with me for a moment. Pennsylvania, at roughly 46 thousand square miles, is ten times the size of 2022 host Qatar. It has a population of over 12.6 million, roughly 7.5 times that of Qatar.

Slavery in Pennsylvania has been completely illegal since 1847 (and it was never that popular before then). In Qatar, a foreign worker may not enter the country without having a sponsor. The worker cannot leave without the sponsor's permission. Many sponsors do not allow the transfer of one employee to another sponsor (aka "Finding a new job). Confiscation of passports and withholding of wages is commonplace.

While same-*** marriage is not yet legal in Pennsylvania, the acts and social conventions associated with that lifestyle are. In Qatar, sodomy carries a five year prison sentence.

Pennsylvania was founded on the idea of religious tolerance. The law in Qatar is based on Sunni Islam, and Apostasy is on the books as a capital offense. Even non-Muslims are banned from eating and drinking in public during Ramadan.

Social issues aside, let's take a look at the hard numbers of infrastructure.

Pennsylvania could be divided into three zones for the World Cup.

The Western Zone, with Heinz Field (65,050 Capacity) and PNC Park (38,496) in Pittsburgh would be served by Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Central Zone, home of Beaver Stadium (107,282) would host the opening match and the final, and would be served by Harrisburg International Airport.

And finally, the more populous Eastern Zone would host most of the matches. It has a number of stadiums, including Lincoln Financial Field (69,144), Franklin Field (52,593), Citizens Bank Park (46,528), and PPL Park (18,500, but designed to be expanded to 30,000 with relative ease).

So that's six stadiums which would be ready with minor reconfigurations, and a seventh that requires moderate expansion. Since FIFA requires at least eight, we'll put up a temporary modular 30,000 seat stadium in Harrisburg, and when the tournament is over, ship it off to some impoverished backwater desperately in need of such a facility. Like D.C.

There are already extensive train and highway systems connecting all three host zones The light rail network may require some modernization, but that's a legacy project which will serve the state long after the tournament has left, and it's not like we have to build, say, a dozen air-conditioned stadiums in a desert the size of Connecticut.

That would just be stupid.