MetLife Stadium chosen to host 2026 World Cup Final


MetLife Stadium will be the home to the 2026 FIFA World Cup final, the organization announced on Sunday. 

The game will be played July 19, 2026, in East Rutherford, New Jersey – a site with a capacity of 82,500.

“As an advocate for this region, and a lifelong soccer fan, I am thrilled that FIFA chose to place their trust in New York New Jersey to host the historic FIFA World Cup 26 Final,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said, per ESPN. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our entire region; hosting the Final provides NYNJ an unparalleled platform to brilliantly showcase what we stand for – diversity, equality, access, and inclusion.”

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MetLife Stadium has been picked to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final. (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

MetLife Stadium has been host to numerous soccer matches in the past, including a match between Manchester United and Arsenal in July 2023, which saw a crowd of 82,262 – the most in its history of soccer matches. 

The tournament will be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, with the opening match of the tournament being held in Mexico City. Mexico will play a team in their group, which has yet to be determined.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s national team will begin their World Cup journey in Los Angeles, playing their first match at SoFi Stadium on June 12. They will remain on the West Coast for all of their group-stage matches, with two being played in Seattle as well. 

As for the semifinals matches, AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be the two sites used. Quarterfinals matches will include SoFi, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

FIFA logo on flag

MetLife Stadium has been picked to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final. (Visionhaus/Getty Images)

FIFA’s planning for this tournament is unlike the usual one, where just one country is involved. They had to juggle four time zones in the three different countries while making sure the players and fans were thought of in terms of welfare. 

Instead of teams traveling across the countries, FIFA worked with stakeholders to come up with the schedule. The three countries were broken down into east, central and west regions, where teams will be practicing and operating out of the region in which their group stage will be played.

To make sure preparation, as well as rest and recovery is maximized, FIFA will be ensuring all teams get three full days between matches. 

Also, by keeping teams in one specific region, fans won’t have to travel all over to watch them in person.

MetLife Stadium general view

MetLife Stadium has been picked to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final. (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

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The World Cup will also see 48 teams in the bracket for the first time in history, expanding from 32 teams.

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