Morocco has announced plans for US$15.8 billion in infrastructure and stadia development spending should it succeed in acquiring rights to stage the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
The Morocco 2026 World Cup bid committee detailed 12 proposed cities and 14 stadia as part of its plans for the event, after submitting its bid book to Fifa, soccer’s global governing body, on Friday.
Morocco 2026’s stadia plans include the use of five existing venues in Marrakech, Agadir, Fez, Rabat and Tangier, which will be renovated and expanded to meet requirements for Fifa’s flagship international soccer tournament.
As well as these, the bid outlined plans for three new stadiums, including a National Stadium in Casablanca, which will be the long-term future home of the national soccer team. That 93,000-capacity development would host the opening match and final of the World Cup. The other new stadia would be built in Oujda and Tetouan stadia, both with capacities of 45,600.
Morocco 2026 has also revealed plans for six Legacy Modular Stadiums (LMS) with capacities of around 46,000 in Casablanca, Marrakech, El Jadida, Meknes, Nador and Ouarzazate. The venue in Marrakech will become a multi-purpose indoor arena after the World Cup, while the stadium in Ourzazate will be the headquarters for a new multi-purpose soccer centre for Africa.
The bid committee said they have all been selected based on their transport and accommodation infrastructure and local soccer legacy needs.
According to Morocco 2026, the stadium investment will account for US$3 billion of US$12.6 in public investment which also requires hospital services being enhanced in 20 cities, and transportation infrastructure improvements for the World Cup. Around US$3.2 billion will be spent on growing hotel capacity.
Morocco, which has previously bid for the World Cup in 1994, 1998 and in 2006, faces competition from the United 2026 bid from the US, Canada and Mexico, which on Thursday revealed further plans emphasising that no new stadium construction would be required, with all its venues having an average capacity of 68,000.
Fifa is due to make its deciding vote on the host for the 2026 event on 13th June.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, chairman of the Morocco 2026 bid and government minister for industry, investment, trade and digital economy, said: “The Fifa World Cup 2026 is a national priority for our government and that is why it has guaranteed the required investment in our exciting and innovative stadium plans. Our beautiful and welcoming nation offers players and fans something very special with just one time-zone, one currency and all host cities are within a 550km radius from Casablanca, meaning limited travel and simple logistics.
“Our hotel capacity has more than doubled since 2003 – we now have 110,000 hotel rooms and we will increase our bed capacity by 70 per cent by 2026. All host cities are also all located within an hour’s drive of an airport, so players and fans need only focus on the one thing that matters most – football.”
Elalamy added: “Our legacy modular stadiums sit at the heart of Morocco’s bid and are a powerful example of our innovation and commitment to legacy. They will be at the cutting edge of modernity, 100-per-cent environmentally responsible and conceived with a sustainable philosophy to reduce construction costs and complexity.
“As soon as the final whistle blows on the 2026 tournament, the stadiums will be adapted to meet the specific needs of their cities and to make them more accessible for local communities, with the aim of maximising participation in football and other sports and cultural activities. Local clubs will become anchor tenants with responsibility for adapting the stadia to their requirements, particularly in terms of capacity.”