ball sports

2026 FIFA World Cup: What to expect from New York and New Jersey as hosts

In June 2022, New York City mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey governor Phil Murphy hailed FIFA’s confirmation that New York and New Jersey had been chosen as the United States’ host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. To commemorate the historic event, Adams and Murphy hosted a watch party at Liberty State Park with participation from soccer enthusiasts, players and spectators at all levels of the game.

New York City Hall, the Empire State Building and other famous stadiums and sites in all five boroughs of New York City and the state of New Jersey lit up with messages of celebration, sending festivities resonating across the area. For the 2026 FIFA World Cup, New York City and New Jersey jointly bid to host games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“The biggest sporting event in the world is coming to the biggest stage, and New York City cannot wait to welcome the world to our region,” Adams said. “New York City is thrilled to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, bringing the drama and excitement here to the city that never sleeps. Not only will the World Cup strengthen our economy by providing a major boost, but it will showcase FIFA and the sport of soccer to all of America.”

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Murphy declared that New Jersey is “fully prepared to deliver the world-class experience that the beautiful game deserves.” He said, “In addition to building upon our lasting global legacy, as a host region, we will also benefit from significant economic activity and impact as well as opportunities to showcase the rich cultural diversity of our state.”

Even though the 2026 FIFA World Cup is still a long way to go, the soccer world has been anxiously awaiting this year’s tournament, which will take place in Qatar in December 2022. According to New Jersey sports betting analysts from betting.us, the 2022 FIFA World Cup has already become a popular betting market in the U.S., which can be seen as an indicator that the 2026 edition will have an even bigger impact in the industry.

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Infrastructure

For the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the New York-New Jersey region is extraordinarily well-equipped, eager, and ready to welcome guests and fans from all over the world. Five airports serving 181 countries are located in the region and MetLife Stadium welcomes two million visitors a year.

Aside from that, the area is now developing more hotels than the other candidate cities do altogether. In addition to being a standout host city for matches, since the region already hosts a number of major sporting events such as the New York City Marathon and the US Open, New York and New Jersey offer many choices for hosting and organizing remarkable associated activities during the 2026 FIFA World Cup as it is the world’s center for entertainment, tourism, cuisine and media.

The individuals who are spearheading the New York-New Jersey bid are entirely committed to making sure that this fantastic opportunity boosts local and regional economies and provides an inclusive cultural exchange for the entire community. Some of the most passionate and diverse soccer supporters in the country, representing nations from all corners of the globe, can be found in these two states. The community will be excited to watch FIFA World Cup matches and will welcome visitors with open arms due to the region’s soccer-friendly culture and its broad, international population.

FIFA Fan Fest locations will be spread out across New York and New Jersey in addition to the games played at MetLife Stadium. The Pingry School, Kean University, the Red Bull Football Club Training Facility and the New York City Football Club Training Facility are the locations of the proposed training grounds.

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Bidding process

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced in March 2017 that Europe and Asia were not included in the bidding after Russia and Qatar were chosen as the 2018 and 2022 hosts, respectively. 

Therefore, one of the remaining four confederations – CONCACAF (North America; last hosted in 1994), CAF (Africa; last hosted in 2010), CONMEBOL (South America; last hosted in 2014), OFC (Oceania; never hosted before) – could host the 2026 World Cup. If none of those four bids met the criteria, the World Cup could also be hosted by UEFA.

Co-hosting the FIFA World Cup, which FIFA had previously prohibited following the 2002 World Cup, was permitted for the 2026 World Cup, however it will be judged on an individual basis and not be limited to a set number of tournaments. Additionally, for 2026, the FIFA general secretariat had the authority to reject bids who did not satisfy the minimal technical standards to host the competition after consulting with the Competitions Committee.

Although publicly contemplating separate bids for the competition, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. announced their united proposal on April 10, 2017. The voting occurred on June 13, 2018 during FIFA’s annual convention in Moscow, Russia. The bid from North America earned 134 valid ballots while the bid from Morocco received 65 valid ballots.

Canada, which held the 2015 women’s World Cup, became the fifth nation to host both the men’s and women’s World Cups. Mexico, which had previously hosted the 1970 and 1986 men’s World Cups, became the first nation to host three men’s World Cups, and the U.S., which had previously hosted the 1994 men’s and the 1999 and 2003 women’s World Cups, became the first nation to host both the men’s and women’s World Cups twice each.

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