World cup 2026 final goes to NYC in victory over Dallas, LA

The New York area will host the FIFA World Cup final in 2026 after beating out contenders in Dallas and Los Angeles for the honor of holding the world’s most-viewed sporting event.

The decisive game will take place across the Hudson River at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, FIFA said Sunday. Reachable by train from midtown Manhattan, the stadium is home to the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets, and has a capacity of 82,500.

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The final will make New York the center of the sporting world in July 2026, when the match is scheduled to be played. FIFA’s choice also hands a boost to New York Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who lobbied for MetLife Stadium and touted the area’s vast infrastructure and international appeal.

MetLife Stadium has recently handled sold-out shows by pop superstars such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, it was also the site of a Super Bowl that was briefly the most-watched television event in US history. The venue cost $1.6 billion to build and boasts lavish interior member clubs with views of the New York skyline and stadium interior.

The US is co-hosting the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico, and the tournament will begin June 11 with a match at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. The next day, Canada will hold its first game, with Toronto’s BMO Field as the venue, while the US team debuts at SoFi Stadium near Los Angeles.

The New York host committee for the 2026 World Cup overcame a big push by Dallas to win the marquee game. That effort was led by FC Dallas President Dan Hunt and backed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who promised transportation upgrades and ambitious plans for fan events in addition to the final at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I cannot believe we lost to Jersey,” former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith joked at a media event.

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Softening the blow, the Dallas area will host nine games, more than any other city, including a semifinal — an outcome Jones called “a fabulous success.” The other semifinal will be played in Atlanta, while Miami will host the third-place game.

The quarterfinals will be held in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Kansas City, Missouri.

In addition to matches played at MetLife Stadium, New York and New Jersey will set up FIFA Fan Fest sites, where soccer enthusiasts can watch game screenings and hold their own matches.

© 2024 Bloomberg

Harry Byrne

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