Nearly five years ago, the United States, Canada, and Mexico’s joint bid won the right to host the 2026 Men’s World Cup over Morocco’s bid. Now, preparations are underway with a stadium already chosen for the tournament. However, the final host has yet to be announced by FIFA. Officials from New York City and New Jersey have come together to begin preparations for the event. The finals will be held at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands. On Thursday morning, an event in Times Square with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York City Mayor Eric Adams was held. According to Murphy, they believe they have the most compelling lawsuit ever filed to get the best possible package, including the final.
In previous World Cups, the final host was often clear cut. For instance, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, and Paris were chosen if their respective countries hosted the event. However, for the 2026 final, there are several attractive contenders. Mexico and Canada will host some of the tournament’s 104 matches, but the bid has agreed that most of the games and everything after the quarterfinals would be played in the United States.
The last time the United States hosted a World Cup was in 1994 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, which hosted only the final. This time, SoFi Stadium is a Los Angeles-area site on the list of stadiums for 2026, primarily built for NFL football, making concerns rise that the field there is too small for soccer, requiring removal of seating. Dallas has emerged as a strong candidate as well, in part because nearby AT&T Stadium could expand to provide more than 100,000 seats for football.
However, New York City and New Jersey officials believe the area is the best host, even though Dallas and Los Angeles are also strong contenders. They argue that New York City is the biggest international stage and the global capital. The final decision will be made by FIFA’s top management, including president Gianni Infantino, with input from regional governing bodies Concacaf and US Soccer. It is expected to be announced in early fall.
Regardless of the final outcome, eight games are likely to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a significant event. Winning the final will boost the local economy, and officials admitted to being competitive and wanting to beat other cities to reach the final.