How to Buy Tickets to the 2026 World Cup

How to Buy Tickets to the 2026 World Cup
World Cup Tickets
Snapshot of our Russia 2018 Tickets
  • When Do World Cup 2026 Tickets Go On Sale?
  • What Are the Basics of Purchasing World Cup Tickets?
    • FIFA Account
    • Sales Phases
    • Understanding Guest Ticket vs Main Applicant
    • 3rd Party Reseller Sites
    • Be Prepared for Mobile Tickets
    • Types of Tickets
  • How Much Do World Cup 2026 Tickets Cost?
    • United 2026 Bid Proposal Details

When Do World Cup 2026 Tickets Go On Sale?

Please note that this article will be continuously updated with specific 2026 details as they’re released.

Using the logic from other men’s World Cups, the initial “Phase 1” ticket sale will not begin until somewhere between August and October of 2025.

This “Phase” takes place before the World Cup Draw, which has traditionally been December the year before the tournament.

You may be wondering “how do you buy tickets to the World Cup before you know the teams?”

First, you need to know what is meant by “Phase 1” and that is explained below a bit as well as in our generic article about World Cup tickets.

But, back to answering the question…the schedule itself will be known by the time the initial tickets go on sale. The schedule will detail the date, time, stadium and group assignment that will play. This means that the day the tickets go for sale for the first time ever, you will be applying for a ticket without knowing which match you will see. Of course, you can also apply for a knockout match too – including the final.

For example you may be applying to watch F1 vs F3 in Los Angeles at 3pm on July 1 (note, the specifics here are made up to illustrate the point). Once the draw takes place, you’ll find out which teams are assigned F1 and F3 and who you now have tickets to see.

What Are the Basics of Purchasing World Cup Tickets?

Honestly, we wrote a generic article about buying World Cup tickets that answers most of the FAQs since 2026 is not on sale yet but we’ll address some below.

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You can also read the page dedicated to Qatar 2022 tickets to get a sense on how that edition operated.

That said there are a few basics to familiarize yourself with:

FIFA Account

All tickets are officially purchased on FIFA’s website and you need an account.

You can go ahead and create that account on FIFA’s website now.

Sales Phases

There are 2 Types and they’re known as “First Come, First Serve” and “Random Lottery“.

Typically, Phase 1 (a couple months before the draw as explained above) is Random Lottery. The time window of this phase is open where regardless of when you apply, you have the same chance to getting randomly allocated the tickets you requested. It is possible another Random Lottery phase will occur as well.

The First Come, First Serve Phase is what you are most familiar with in purchasing tickets. You show up on the website, look at the match you want to purchase tickets to, and if there’s availability, you pay via credit card at that time and the tickets are yours.

Understanding Guest Ticket vs Main Applicant

The person applying for tickets is known as the “Main Applicant“.

Let’s say the “Main Applicant” purchases 2 tickets to the same match. The person that the “Main Applicant” invites is known as the “Guest“.

This is key because FIFA makes it difficult to resell match tickets on 3rd party platforms and “Guests” have essentially zero power outside of receiving and using the tickets.

To combat scalping, FIFA launches their own “Resale Platform” in which anyone can list their tickets for Resale but it is NOT a free pricing model. Tickets can only be resold for 10% markup. With FIFA using mobile, digital tickets (more below) they’ve found a way to facilitate the sharing of tickets. A guest cannot transfer a ticket and a main applicant cannot transfer any other tickets aside from the guest ticket.

It’s honestly a fairly well-executed attempt to minimize (let’s be real, it does not come close to eliminating) the open market scalping that is common in USA sporting landscape.

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Using our 2 ticket example, this means I can assign the guest ticket to my sister, but there’s not an easy way I can transfer my main applicant ticket to her spouse.

3rd Party Reseller Sites

As stated above, fans may be surprised that listing tickets for resale on a 3rd Party Platform (e.g. StubHub, Ticketmaster, Viagogo, etc) violates the “Terms of Use” by FIFA.

If you want to learn more, read this article on how FIFA’s Resale Platform works and why.

Be Prepared for Mobile Tickets

Unless technology takes a wild U-Turn soon, the tickets will be accessed on a FIFA mobile app. Take a look at the 2023 and 2022 mobile app articles for an idea on how it works.

The app is fairly advanced where tickets use bluetooth to “activate” a unique scannable barcode once the ticket holder is within the stadium grounds on match day.

Screenshots of the barcode will not work for sharing.

Types of Tickets

Individual Tickets – tickets purchased for a specific match.

Team Specific Tickets – tickets purchased to follow a specific team. You can typically do this for 4 or 7 matches.

Stadium Specific Tickets – tickets purchase to attend every match in a specific stadium.

Hospitality Tickets – sold by the FIFA Hospitality arm, MATCH, these tickets are always first come, first serve and have multi-levels in their own right. Typically, the cheapest ticket is about 10x a regular ticket cost but you can “skip the line” during Random Lottery phases and you get a version of food, drinks, parking, etc. You also get a gift as you can see our photo below from England vs USA in Qatar.

If you think you may be interested in Hospitality Tickets, we can potentially make some introductions to providers like RoadTrips and others, where you may get a discount by mentioning the site.

How Much Do World Cup 2026 Tickets Cost?

There’s nothing specific out yet but we do know these will be broken into “Categories” where the categories are position of the field, not necessarily how close to the field you are. A World Cup ticket option exists in 3 different Categories and then increases in price for each round of the tournament.

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Category 1 – the most expensive category and reserved for the center of the pitch.

Category 2 – the 2nd most expensive category and reserved for the corners of the pitch.

Category 3 – the least expensive category and reserved for behind the goal.

Category 4 – a very small subset of seats behind the goal that are reserved for host residents, but not sure how this will work in 2026.

It is entirely possible that Category 3 can be front row behind the goal and Category 1 is the last row ad midfield.

Again, our regular column provides a handful of examples on ticket prices. You can also see our travel budget from Russia 2018. The pricing will hopefully surprise many people as FIFA does a decent job of keeping the tickets away from scalpers and costs less than what many fans pay in the States for meaningless friendlies between European teams.

The cheapest ticket in previous tournaments hovered around $70 USD or less in the past for the men. And it’s wild to reflect on how we purchased tickets to the England vs Spain 2023 Final in Sydney for equivalent to $25 USD each!

United 2026 Bid Proposal Details

You can access the official 2026 Bid Proposal on FIFA’s website and when you do so, navigate to page 490 and you will see the proposed pricing scheme. And…well…this would be quite the price increase.

That said – it is important to know this is only a Bid Proposal and constructed in 2018 so this could (and likely will) change. Many aspects of the proposal already has changed; however, it is interesting to see where the minds are at (💰).

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