Lord Justice Goldring made the decision after hearing conflicting arguments at a preliminary hearing last week in support of holding the hearing in either the north-west or London.
In a written direction, the judge said: "I have concluded that it would be right for the inquests to be held in the north-west. It would not be helpful further to identify a location at this stage."
Britain's worst sporting disaster unfolded at Sheffield's Hillsborough stadium on April 15 1989 during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as thousands of fans were crushed in the ground's Leppings Lane terrace.
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