New Jersey to host 2026 FIFA World Cup final

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey is to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final.

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey is to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final. Photo: AAP

The 2026 FIFA World Cup final will be held in New Jersey at the home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

World governing body FIFA announced the venue decision on Sunday, along with the entire schedule for the global soccer showcase.

The 48-team World Cup, which will conclude on July 19 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, is being co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The open-air stadium for the final, which has a capacity of 82,500, hosted the Copa America Centenario final in 2016 when Chile denied Lionel Messi’s Argentina for a second time in a penalty shootout.

The New York/New Jersey area had been competing with AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the opportunity to stage the final.

AT&T Stadium and Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the semi-final matches, and Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium will host the bronze medal match.

Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca will host the opening match of tournament on June 11 when Mexico will become the first nation to stage the World Cup for a third time.

Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, with the finals of both editions held at Estadio Azteca where Pele’s Brazil crushed Italy 4-1 and Diego Maradona’s Argentina beat West Germany 3-2.

The 2026 World Cup will feature 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 games, including an additional knockout round due to the previously announced decision to expand to 48 teams from 32.

While qualifying is underway, the three host nations are guaranteed entry.

The United States men’s national team will stay on the West Coast for all three group-stage matches. They will play their first match of the World Cup June 12 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, head to Seattle to play at Lumen Field on June 19 and return to SoFi Stadium on June 25.

After playing the tournament openeron June 11, Mexico will go to Guadalajara for a match on June 18 and return to Mexico City on June 24.

Canada will open their tournament on June 12 in Toronto’s BMO Field. The team will then fly west and play their final two group-stage matches at BC Place in Vancouver on June 18 and 24.

Other US World Cup match sites are Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; NRG Stadium in Houston; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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