Joint U.S.-Mexico Bid Looks to Host 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup
FIFA has received four expressions of interest to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with the final Bidding Agreement on the soccer tournament due on May 19.
South Africa and Brazil have made solo bids. Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands have made a joint bid, and the United States and Mexico are also making a joint bid. The US and Mexico, along with Canada, are cohosting the Men’s World Cup in 2026.
“We are thrilled by the expressions of interest received, not least because they come from member associations with a strong football tradition representing four confederations,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
“All member associations can rely on the most robust and comprehensive bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
The United States has hosted the tournament two times, in 1999 and 2003. Germany hosted the 2011 tournament. None of the other bidding countries have hosted the Women’s World Cup. But Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa have all hosted the Men’s World Cup.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand, marking the first women’s tournament to be hosted by two nations. The men’s tournament was first staged by multiple nations when Japan and South Korea produced the 2002 World Cup.
The 2026 men’s tournament is the first to be hosted by three countries, and the German, Belgian, and Dutch bid would be the first for the women’s tournament.
Voting on the 2027 hosts will take place by the FIFA Congress on May 17, 2024.
The Growing Value of the Women’s World Cup
For the first time, FIFA is selling the television rights to the Women’s World Cup separate from the men. It is expected to be worth more than $300 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
At $300 million, the Women’s World Cup would be the most valuable women’s sporting event in the world. The 2019 Women’s World Cup, hosted by France, drew 1.12 billion viewers across all platforms. The final between the United States and the Netherlands was seen live by more than 260 million viewers. Overall viewership was more than doubled from the 2015 Women’s World Cup, hosted by Canada.
Women’s sports in general have seen a huge rise in value in recent years. The rights to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament are sold as part of a package with 28 other NCAA sports. But it is estimated that when the next deal is signed in 2025, the women’s basketball tournament by itself could be worth between $81 million and $112 million annually. ESPN’s current deal averages $34 million for all Division I national championships, except for men’s basketball.
The final of this year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament between Iowa and LSU drew a record average of 9.9 million viewers, peaking at 12.6 million viewers. In-person attendance for the tournament also set a record at 357,542.
The WNBA is expected to sign a new media rights deal in 2025 for close to $100 million, and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will be negotiating a new media rights deal on the heels of this summer’s Women’s World Cup. After showcasing many of its biggest stars on the world stage, the NWSL is expecting a big increase over the $4.5 million three-year deal it signed with CBS in 2020.