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UEFA Selects Budapest for 2026 Champions League Final, Decision on Milan Deferred

champions league ball
Credit: Janosch Diggelmann

UEFA announced on Wednesday that Budapest will host the men’s Champions League final in 2026, while a decision on Milan’s San Siro for 2027 has been postponed due to uncertainties about the stadium’s future.

The Puskás Arena and San Siro were the only candidates for the two finals. Wembley Stadium in London will host the next final on June 1, with Bayern Munich’s home scheduled for the 2025 event.

The iconic San Siro, formally known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, faces potential demolition. Its tenants, AC Milan and Inter Milan, are exploring new stadium options. UEFA has delayed its decision until a September executive committee meeting, pending further information on San Siro’s refurbishment plans from the Italian football federation.

Complicating matters in Milan, ownership of Inter Milan switched from Chinese corporation Suning to U.S.-based investors Oaktree due to debt repayment issues. Despite this, the 75,000-seat San Siro could still host the Champions League final for the fifth time, shortly after the 2026 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

The 70,000-seat Puskás Arena, opened five years ago, has become a favored venue for UEFA, hosting a Europa League final last year and replacement games during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a football enthusiast, and billionaire banker Sándor Csányi, a FIFA vice president, have been influential in promoting the venue.

In other decisions, UEFA’s executive committee awarded the Women’s Champions League final in 2026 to Oslo, Norway. Istanbul will host the 2026 Europa League final at Besiktas’ downtown stadium, with the 2027 final at Eintracht Frankfurt’s home. The 2025 Europa final is set for Athletic Bilbao’s stadium, which also hosts the Women’s Champions League final next week.

The third-tier Conference League final in 2026 will be held in Leipzig, Germany, and in 2027 in Istanbul, again at Besiktas’ stadium. The Romanian national stadium in Bucharest, which hosted the Europa League final in 2012, lost its bid to host the title match again.

Additionally, the Israeli football federation had proposed Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem for the Conference League bidding contest last year but was not selected.