2026 FIFA World Cup Will Play in Santa Clara and City Won’t Pay for Events, But San Jose and San Francisco Probably Will

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, FIFA announced that some World Cup games would be played in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium in 2026.

It’s considered the premier global soccer event. The tournament is expected to be watched by 3.2 billion fans worldwide.

“This event is a huge win for Santa Clara and the region,” says Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “We are beyond excited to bring FIFA World Cup to Levi’s Stadium. Not only are we getting a world-class soccer event for the public to enjoy, but these games will be a massive economic generator for our community; all at no cost to the City and Stadium Authority since our public funds are protected by Measure J.”

City staff could not provide any detail on event specifics. They also said they are unaware of other local cities having protections like Measure J.

Measure J protected Mission City taxpayers during Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

San Francisco and San Jose ended up spending millions of dollars on public safety costs. Santa Clara actually got paid millions of dollars.

Here’s what the San Francisco Examiner reported about San Francisco’s expenses:

“A new report released by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, at the request of Supervisor John Avalos, estimates the total cost at $4.8 million.

Here’s what the paper wrote about Santa Clara:

“According to the assistant city manager, the city of Santa Clara has reached an agreement with the Host Committee to reimburse all city expenses associated with hosting Super Bowl 50, including public safety services, fire, and emergency medical services,” the report stated. “The reimbursement from the Host Committee to Santa Clara is expected to be $3,597,300 to cover all additional public safety and other government services.”

There was no official report on San Jose’s expenses but the public safety expenses were likely in the $4 million range.

Kudos to Measure J voters for protecting our tax dollars. Sorry San Jose and San Francisco.


  1. So Robert do we know this for sure about SC not paying anything? Do we have iron clad contracts? Who negotiated at city?

    • Great question. We are basing this off of Measure J. We do not know 100 percent if the Host Committee has guaranteed the City protections on security costs. Very good question sir! Here’s hoping this event follows suit with what happened for other major events.

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