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New Jersey & New York Win the World Cup!

New Jersey and New York scored a goal! The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced yesterday that the 2026 World Cup final will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. While the final will be played on July 19, seven other games will be played at the stadium during the 104-game tournament, which will be held across three host countries: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

For the New Jersey/New York region, the World Cup means an economic impact of more than $2 billion and the creation of 14,000 jobs. An expected 1 million visitors will take advantage of hotels, restaurants, theaters, museums, airports, mass transit, and everything else the region has to offer.

Additionally, 2 to 3 billion people from around the world are expected to tune into the games. Just as interesting is the fact that the Metropolitan region represents this global diversity. As New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a joint video with Gov. Phil Murphy posted on X (formerly Twitter), “With more than 600 languages and dialects spoken across our region, there is no other place that better captures the breadth of diversity of the world’s greatest game than New York City and the great Garden State.”

Gov. Phil Murphy added, “Name a [soccer] team or country and I guarantee you; it will have a built-in fan base on either side of the Hudson River.”

According to Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, “NJBIA joins with the governor in celebrating the announcement that the largest celebration of soccer is coming to New Jersey. The impacts from both an economic and social aspect are tremendous, and we look forward to welcoming the world to New Jersey.”

Meadowlands Preparations

Jim Kirkos, president and CEO of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce & Meadowlands Convention and Visitors Bureau, commented, “We will most certainly provide a warm welcome and a fabulous experience to visitors from all over the globe as they visit the Meadowlands region. Our destination is bigger and better than ever and is filled with fabulous dining, incredible retail and attractions and a wide array of entertainment that will delight the millions of visitors the World Cup generates.”

He told New Jersey Business Magazine that the next step for the chamber and visitors bureau in preparation of the Word Cup is to work closely with the New York New Jersey FIFA host committee and create awareness for the various Meadowlands communities.

“We will take the lessons learned from past big events [including the Super Bowl], so that we can capitalize more on the World Cup’s economic impact,” Kirkos said. “A lot of that has to do with awareness – things like marketing and social media – to let people know about the hidden jewels in our downtowns and places like the American Dream mall.

“We are a better destination now than ever before,” he continued. “There’s more to do, more places to stay, and more dining experiences. There’s so much more that we can showcase. Our task as a region – within two years – will be to make sure that when visitors come here, they will know where to spend their money.”

Kirkos and his team have been seeking the creation of a 460,000-square-foot convention center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which he says would have an estimated $30 billion economic impact over 30 years.

“If we could have had this convention center built by 2026, the economic impact of the World Cup at the Meadowlands would have risen exponentially because we would have been able to have all kinds of experiences inside the facility. That’s why we need to advance the [convention center] project. Let’s fill that doughnut hole at the sports complex with its empty arena. Let’s build a convention center that’s worthy of attracting events.”

Other World Cup News

This is the first time the World Cup will be played across three countries. In total, it will include 48 teams. This is an increase from the usual 32-team format of the past seven tournaments. Fifteen major cities will host the games. During the tournament, MetLife Stadium will be referred to as “New York New Jersey Stadium” because of FIFA’s policy against non-sponsor corporate names.

The national teams of Mexico, Canada and the US will each play their three group-stage matches on home soil. Canada will kick off its team game in Toronto on Friday, 12 June 2026, while the U.S. will begin its journey on the same day in Los Angeles.

The schedule for the tournament can be reviewed on and FIFA+. The match schedule can also be accessed here.

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