FIFA announces venues for 2026 World Cup

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New York and New Jersey have teamed up to clinch some of the 2026 World Cup matches at MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, NJ, FIFA officials announced Thursday.

The Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Dallas areas were among other venues chosen to host the tournament, the first with an expanded field of 48 teams and three co-host countries in North America.

The New York/New Jersey games will be played at MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

The mood grew tense at a viewing party in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park when ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ was the last venue announced as host via a FIFA live stream . But the relieved crowd erupted in applause and chants of “New York” and “New Jersey” once it became clear the metro area would get its share of the beautiful game.

“Was that good news or what?” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy asked the crowd. When the state last hosted cup games in 1994, it had an economic impact of more than $500 million — and it’s looking for “a lot of games” in 2026, he said.

“Even though we want the first games, there’s one game we want: we want the last game,” Murphy told the raucous crowd. “We want this World Cup trophy to be hoisted right here at MetLife Stadium.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Mayor Eric Adams celebrate the announcement that New York and New Jersey have been added to the list of ‘host cities’ for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Stephane Yang

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said football “has a way of bringing us all together” after a stressful few years.

“This is what we’re talking about. All of us who have been burdened by COVID, all of us who have wondered what the future will look like, the question mark has lingered over our city and our country for two years,” Adams said.

“Today these young people and their enthusiasm, they took that question mark and they turned it into an exclamation mark. We are America, we are New York. We are New Jersey. You have damn right, we’re going to be fine. The World Cup is coming here to New York and New Jersey.

Games will be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Games will be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Stephane Yang

Football fanatics were equally excited about the news.

“I’m so excited for this. I can’t wait to watch the final,” said Kevin Doherty, 9, of Long Island. “I was so happy.”

Of the matches, 60 will be played in the United States, with the quarter-finals and all subsequent rounds to be played here. Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each. All venues will be converted to grass pitches for football matches.

Cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Arizona dropped out of bids to host some games due to what officials saw as onerous demands from soccer’s governing body FIFA. Other cities like Las Vegas didn’t make the cut until Thursday’s announcement.

Local children celebrating the announcement in Jersey City on June 16, 2022.
Local children celebrating the announcement in Jersey City on June 16, 2022.
Stephane Yang

At Liberty State Park, dozens of people celebrated the NY/NJ selection, many of them children wearing football shirts.

“We are thrilled for our family,” said Stacey Franzke, 45, of Massapequa. “My three children are big football fans. I know how much that means they even have the potential to go see something and support something… They’ll have it in their backyard here.

His son Cole, 9, added: “I’m really excited to be able to see a World Cup game.”

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver told the Post that the region – home to Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls and New York City Football Club – believes “we are the center of the world “.

New York/New Jersey was on the final list of 16 host cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
New York/New Jersey was on the final list of 16 host cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Stephane Yang

“Football has become the No. 1 sport for many of our young people,” Oliver said.

Ed Foster Simeon said he hoped the games would spark new football fans in the United States, where the sport remains in the shadow of other American professional spots.

“The opportunity here is to continue the growth of football in the country,” Simeon said.

Here is a complete list of selected sites:

  • Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Boston–Gillette Stadium in Foxborough
  • Dallas – AT&T Stadium in Arlington
  • Guadalajara, Mexico—Estadio Akron
  • Houston – NRG Stadium
  • Kansas City, Missouri – Arrowhead Stadium
  • Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium
  • Mexico City – Estadio Azteca
  • Miami – Hard Rock Stadium
  • Monterrey, Mexico – Estadio BBVA
  • New York/New Jersey
  • Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle–Lumen Field
  • Toronto, Canada—BMO Field
  • Vancouver, Canada – BC Place

With post wires

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