Spain's 2030 World Cup: What we know so far

Conor Faulkner
Conor Faulkner - [email protected]
Spain's 2030 World Cup: What we know so far
Spain's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas presents the trophy ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Spain is set to play a leading role in the groundbreaking 2030 World Cup, hosting an expanded tournament over six countries and three continents. Here's what we know so far, from where matches will be played to the benefits 'El Mundial' will bring.


World football governing body FIFA made the surprise announcement on Wednesday October 4th 2023 that Spain will host the 2030 World Cup alongside neighbouring countries Portugal and Morocco.

Nobody was expecting it as the winners of the 2030 bid were meant to be announced in 2024. Even Pedro Sánchez, who met up with FIFA president Gianni Infantino two weeks ago, reportedly found out about the excellent news through the press.

A discreet newsletter filtered to the press confirmed that the Spain-Portugal-Morocco candidacy was the only one after Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay pulled out as official hosts.


The 2030 tournament is set to be slightly different to previous events, and not just because it'll be a 48-team tournament rather than the usual 32.

FIFA also announced in a statement that three games will be played South America - one each in Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asunción to celebrate the centenary of the first World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930.

This unorthodox arrangement (something that has already drawn the ire of climate activist groups) will make it the first World Cup tournament to be played across six different countries and three continents.

The majority of the matches will be played in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, however, and of the three host countries, Spain will have the most matches and stadiums.

It will be the first time Spain has hosted a World Cup since 1982, often considered one of the greatest tournament in World Cup history.

The 2030 tournament will be made up of 104 matches played compared to the usual 64 matches.

According to Spain's state broadcaster RTVE, around 50 percent of the 2030 World Cup matches will be held in Spain. The official opening match is scheduled to be in Spain (the Camp Nou in Barcelona is being considered as the venue, as it was in the 1982 tournament) and the final could be played at the Santiago Bernabéu, home of Real Madrid.

READ ALSO: Spain to host 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Morocco

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez receiving a symbolic football jersey from FIFA president Gianni Infantino (L) during a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on September 12th 2018. (Photo by Fernando CALVO / LA MONCLOA / AFP)


How much will it all cost and make?

The tournament will give a rather significant injection of money into the Spanish economy. According to government estimates, the 2030 World Cup could add €5.12 billion to GDP and inject another €5.5 billion in tourism spending. The preparation and event will generate an estimated 82,513 jobs if forecast investment packages are followed.

According to government estimates, for each euro of spending on tournament investment and organisation, €4.28 will be added to Spain's GDP and €1.32 of tax revenue will be generated. Owing to the pre-existing stadium infrastructure in Spain, spending will far be lower than for other host nations. Government forecasts predict that the investment needed will be around just €1.43 billion, compared to €15 billion spent on the Brazil 2014 World Cup and the more than €200 billion spent on the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Of course, the tournament is still many years away and there're still plenty of details to be ironed out and preparations to be made. But in Spain, already a football mad country, World Cup mania has begun to sweep across the country.

However, based on Spain's joint bid with Portugal and Morocco, there are some details already established about the 2030 World Cup that we can take a look at - here's what we know so far.




Where will the matches be played in Spain?

During Spain's bid for the tournament, the Spanish FA put forward a long list of potential stadiums to host matches. Now Spain must choose 10 or 11 stadiums from that initial list of 15. Judging from the initial scheduling plans released, it seems very likely that the Santiago Bernabéu and Camp Nou will be the two showcase stadiums, hosting the semi-final and final matches.

So far, we know that 15 clubs and municipal or regional authorities have expressed interest in hosting World Cup matches and were included in the initial list.

spain 2030 world cup Bilbao's 53,000-seater San Mamés stadium could be one of the 2030 World Cup's chosen venues. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)

They are in Madrid (the 'Nuevo' Santiago Bernabéu, which is currently undergoing renovations, and the Metropolitano, home of Atlético Madrid), Barcelona (Camp Nou and the RCD Stadium, home of cross town rivals Espanyol), La Rosaleda (Málaga), San Mamés (Bilbao), Riazor (La Coruña), El Molinón (Gijón), La Romareda (Zaragoza), La Cartuja (a multipurpose stadium in Seville), Anoeta (home of Real Sociedad in San Sebastián), Balaídos (Vigo), La Mestalla (home of Valencia), Nueva Condomina (Murcia) and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas).

Most of these stadiums do not meet the official FIFA World Cup capacity requirements. Renovations and expansions would need to be made to most, though there is ample time left to make the changes.

Although formally the stadium requirements have not yet been published by FIFA, stadiums usually must have a capacity between 40,000 and 80,000 spectators to host World Cup matches.

The Spanish stadiums that are almost certain to make the cut are Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu, Atlético de Madrid's Civitas Metropolitano, Barcelona's Camp Nou, Seville's La Cartuja and Athletic Bilbao's San Mamés.



When will it be held?

The exact dates for the 2030 World Cup are not yet known. Barring a surprise like the recent winter World Cup in Qatar, it is likely the tournament will start sometime in June and end in July.

The final is traditionally played on a Sunday. Though there are no exact tournament dates yet, the duration of the tournament will likely be around 40 days. This is the same as the 2026 tournament set to be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, also a tournament with the expanded format and increased number of participant countries, so both forthcoming tournaments will last a little longer than previous World Cups, which usually last for a month.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also