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Philadelphia hosted a flag raising for the FIFA World Cup in Philadelphia brand on May 18. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Philadelphia hosted a flag raising for the FIFA World Cup in Philadelphia brand on May 18. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

Philadelphia looks ahead to the 2026 FIFA World Cup with flag raising ceremony

The flag raising was part of the official host city brand unveiling on Thursday, May 18.

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In continuation of a full day of brand unveiling for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Philadelphia, a flag-raising ceremony was held outside of City Hall on Thursday, May 18. 

Philadelphia’s selection as one of the 16 host cities of the 2026 FIFA World Cup has been a long-time coming, according to Meg Kane. 

“This bid began back in 2017 and has really spanned the entirety of the Mayor’s administration and his team,” said Kane, Host City Executive for Philadelphia Soccer 2026.

Meg Kane, Host City Executive for Philadelphia Soccer 2026. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Meg Kane, Host City Executive for Philadelphia Soccer 2026. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

As a result, the official selection and subsequent branding of Philadelphia as a host city represent a full-circle moment.

Both the logo and the color scheme were deliberate in their aim to capture to essence of the city — bright, bold, and vibrant. 

As part of being one of the host cities, the team who helped bring the FIFA World Cup to Philadelphia was required to write a letter to the rest of the world in anticipation of the spectacle in 2026.  

“Being revolutionary isn’t just a thing we did once in 1776. In Philly, revolutionary thinking and doing is our way of life. You’ll see it on our walls, covered in more than 4,000 murals, you’ll taste it in every neighborhood… and you’ll feel it on our streets, especially Broad Street when our teams win,” the letter reads in part. 

When it comes to Philly’s preparedness to host the FIFA World Cup, Kane noted, “We’ve been ready for this moment since America kicked off nearly 250 years ago.”

This was a sentiment shared by Mayor Jim Kenney. 

During Kenney’s tenure as Mayor, Philadelphia has hosted several large-scale events, such as the Democratic National Convention and the NFL Draft. 

For that reason, he is excited to see the FIFA World Cup come to the city, despite the fact he will no longer be Mayor in 2026. 

“I know our city is more than ready to host another event on the world stage,” said Kenney. 

Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during the flag raising. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during the flag raising. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

The year, 2026, will allow the city of Philadelphia to be a focus of the world. In addition to the FIFA World Cup, Philadelphia will also be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the United States and hosting the MLB All-Star Game. 

Kenney highlighted that now that the city’s bid has come to an end, the planning for the festivities is now in full force. 

After Kenney’s remarks, the flag was officially raised.

“This flag and this banner will look over Dilworth Park and be a visual reminder that in just three years, we are a city that will host the world,” said Kane. 

A large group of individuals have helped make this come to fruition. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
A large group of individuals have helped make this come to fruition. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

Philadelphia is also prepared to host a series of English Premier League preseason soccer games at Lincoln Financial Field in just a couple months. 

The 2026 World Cup will represent the 23rd edition of the global soccer tournament.

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