Boston soccer fans got their first look on Thursday at what will be plastered around the city in the summer of 2026, when it helps host the World Cup.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Gov. Maura Healey and others unveiled the Boston World Cup 2026 host city brand, including the official logo and slogan.
"We are ready to host this major global event," Healey said. "There's nothing quite like the World Cup."
The logo for the entire tournament — being cohosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada — was unveiled in Los Angeles on Wednesday by Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo and FIFA's president, Gianni Infantino. The logo features the numbers 2 and 6 stacked vertically, with the official trophy imposed over it, and is accompanied by the hashtag #WeAre26.
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Boston's version features yellow, green and blue colors and the slogan, "We Are Boston."
Boston, via Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, is one of 16 host cities of the tournament, which will feature 48 teams for the first time, meaning there will be 104 games throughout the tournament. Foxboro was also a host city in the 1994 World Cup, and Gillette Stadium is the home of the New England Revolution, the area's Major League Soccer team.
Kraft said that Thursday's event reminded him of the 1994 edition, which he was also a part of. He said that, in working on the 2026 bid, he was "making sure that Boston is going to get as many games — a minimum of six," before pausing and asking, "Am I not supposed to say that?"
He added he'd bet Boston gets more.
If the 104 games were evenly divided among all the host cities, each would host six-and-a-half games.
"Boston, are you ready to host six, maybe eight Super Bowls?" said Martha Sheridan, CEO of Meet Boston.
Organizers estimate that the 2026 World Cup will bring 450,000 people to the city and a $500 million economic boost. They noted that, while the U.S., Mexico and Canada have already qualified for the tournament as hosts, FIFA won't determine which teams play where until qualification is finished, a few months before the start of the tournament on June 8.
Joining Kraft, the honorary chairman of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada 2026 World Cup bid, and Healey at the unveiling on Thursday at Big Night Live were Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, New England Revolution President Brian Bilello and more.
"We are really excited about this for the city, we are really excited about this for the commonwealth. This is going to be bigger and even better than what we had in 1994," said Michlewitz, a North End native.
He recalled the dramatic end to the 1994 tournament, when Italy star Roberto Baggio missed a penalty kick in the final, handing the trophy to Brazil. In the North End, "you could hear the collective sigh," Michlewitz said, adding he was glad the field was expanded in 2026, making it harder for Italy to repeat their 2022 World Cup qualification miss.
Argentina will enter the 2026 tournament as defending champions after winning the World Cup in Qatar in a penalty shootout this past winter. The 2023 Women’s World Cup is being held this summer in Australia and New Zealand.
The United States' men's soccer team got a boost this week as young striker and New York City native Folarin Balogun committed to play in the red white and blue, despite being eligible to play for England or Nigeria. It's a position the talented young squad, which surprised some experts by making it out of the group stage in Qatar, needed to find an upgrade for.