Unlike many other countries around the world, it is not uncommon in the United States for soccer to be played at multi-purpose stadiums used primarily for American pro football and college games. However, ever since the MLS established itself in 1993, club-specific stadiums have been built to create a dedicated community around the teams. As the United States prepares to co-host the 2026 World Cup, here are some of the best stadiums that could be featured.
Orlando City Stadium, Orland City SC
Completed in 2017 in preparation for Orlando City’s first home game, the Orlando City Stadium includes the first standing terrace in the states. The “safe standing” area holds 3,811 people and has developed a reputation as “The Wall” as it formerly hosted the most passionate fans. In addition to some of the most upscale facilities in the MLS, there’s also a rainbow-colored section of the stands to honor those killed in the 2016 Orland nightclub massacre.
Allianz Field, Minnesota United FC
Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Allianz field plans to open in 2019 and seat 24,474 when completed. In addition to top notch facilities and a terrace, the stadium will be ring-shaped like the cloud city of Bespin in the movie Star Wars.
Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake
With 20,213 seats, the Rio Tinto Stadium sits in a scenic area, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in the suburbs just outside Salt Lake City. Using the altitude to the team’s advantage, Real Salt Lake won 34 games at home from 2010 to 2011. The stadium is also a popular venue to host the national side’s soccer matches.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta United
While designed primarily as an American football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium was built with soccer in mind. Given the advanced architecture of the stadium, it can retract seats from 71,000 to a two-tier. 42,000 stadium to amplify Atlanta United soccer matches. United played its first inaugural game in the $1.5 building on September 9, 2017, in a 1-0 win over Dallas FC.
Providence Park, Portland Timbers
Originally built in 1893 as a sports field for various sporting activities including football, cricket, and baseball matches, Providence Park — known initially as Multnomah Athletic Club — went through a $36 million renovation to host newly found Portland Timbers in their inaugural 2011 game. To support the growing fanbase, the Timbers are spending an additional $50 million to expand the seating capacity from 20,438 seats to approximately 25,000.
Red Bull Arena, New York Red Bulls
Seating roughly 25,000 the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey is the third largest soccer stadium in the United States. The stadium officially opened on March 20, 2010, to host a friendly between the Red Bulls and Santos FC. It features a transparent roof that covers all seats and permits natural light while also enhancing sound quality.
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles Football Club
With key signings Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela, the Los Angeles Football Club opened up its new stadium on April 29, 2018, in a 1-0 win against the Seattle Sounders. Costing $250 million, the stadium features 22,000 seats and high-end amenities that will host many exciting derbies against crosstown rivals Los Angeles Galaxy for years to come.
Children’s Mercy Park, Sporting Kansas City
Opened in 2011, the Children’s Mercy Park stadium in Kansas City contains 18,467 seats but opens up to adapt to larger sizes — the average attendance for a Sporting Kansas City match is 21,000. The stadium won various awards in its initial launch and has since hosted various international games.
Century Link Field, Seattle Sounders
While originally built for the American football team the Seattle Seahawks, Century Link Field opened up to the Seattle Sounders in 2003. The stadium hosted the MLS All-Star game in 2009 and set an attendance record in 2009 when 67,385 rabid fans watched the Sounders go up against the Portland Timbers.
Avaya Stadium, San Jose Earthquakes
With a capacity of 18,000, the Avaya Stadium in San Jose may be smaller than most of the other venues, but it’s also one of the most tech-savvy. It also contains the most extensive outdoor bar in the United States, an astounding 3,547 sq ft bar offering 45 draft beers.
StubHub Center, LA Galaxy
Opened in 2013, the StubHub is home to one of the league’s most successful clubs, the Los Angeles Galaxy. With a 27,000 capacity, it is also the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States. It’s played host to seven MLS All-Star Games and currently serves as a temporary home stadium for the Los Angeles Chargers American football team.