EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – A delegation from FIFA visited New York and New Jersey on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
FIFA’s visit comes on the heels of a successful and action-packed summer of elite international sports events in the region, during which NYNJ showcased its world-class sporting facilities and hosting capabilities. The series of events affirm the region’s preparedness to host premier matches, including the 2026 World Cup Final.
The delegation from FIFA met with a group of representatives from both New York and New Jersey at MetLife Stadium.
Participants included representatives from New York City Hall, the Office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, the NYNJ 2026 World Cup Host Committee, MetLife Stadium, NJ Department of Treasury, the NJ Economic Development Authority, the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority, Choose New Jersey, the NJ Department of Transportation, the NJ Turnpike Authority, NJ Transit, NJ State Police, NYC Tourism + Conventions, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the Port Authority Police Department, Amtrak, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
That vast group of regional stakeholders have worked seamlessly together to plan for a successful FIFA World Cup 26 for several years.
They have also continued to execute massive events across the region on a weekly basis, including this past weekend’s NFL match between the New York Jets and New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium, which was attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Throughout the summer of 2023, NYNJ’s state-of-the-art venues illustrated the popularity of sport in the region, including Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, which played host to four nearly sold-out 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup games – two on June 30 and two on July 4.
The region’s soccer fever heated up throughout the summer. On July 26, MetLife Stadium was the world-class stage for a friendly face-off between Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal in front of a sold-out crowd of 82,000, setting a record attendance for a soccer match at the stadium.
On July 28, the inaugural Premier League Summer Series thrilled fans at the Red Bull Arena, with Brighton & Hove Albion taking on Newcastle United. Messi Mania came on full display during the legend’s Major League Soccer regular season debut at Red Bull Arena on August 26 before a sold-out crowd of 25,000 cheering soccer fans.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said: “We are pleased to cap off an unforgettable summer of sport in New York and New Jersey with an official visit from FIFA.
“Our region’s ability to pull off major events and fill stadiums has been on full display.
“We are ready to welcome the world for matches and are committed to bringing the climax of the FIFA World Cup 2026 to New York and New Jersey.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said: “There are few things as thrilling as watching a goal from your favorite team and nowhere more exciting to watch a soccer match than New York New Jersey.
“As this region’s summer of massive events has shown, no one has more experience or has demonstrated more operational excellence than our region in hosting large-scale events.
“Big events are what we do best, and we cannot wait to be chosen to host the World Cup Finals in 2026. I believe that we will win!”
NYNJ 2026 World Cup Host Committee Co-Host City Managers Bruce Revman and Lauren LaRusso said: “It is an honor to welcome FIFA to New York New Jersey. The region has experienced an incredible summer of global sports and prestigious soccer events.
“We are more confident than ever that our region is well-equipped to deliver a successful Final, and an unmatched fan and guest experience, thanks to the incredible efforts of every one of our stakeholders.
“From training facilities to watch parties – New York New Jersey provides the best stage for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ Final.”
In addition to providing an electric atmosphere for the world’s top soccer events, New York New Jersey successfully hosted an array of major sports events this summer.
Among them was USA Track & Field’s 2023 NYC Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium at Randall’s Island Park; the event featured the sport’s top athletes and earned praise from USATF CEO Max Siegel, who referred to the region as a “phenomenal host” and “massively important market” for the sport of track and field.
To wrap up a thrilling summer of sports events, the region continued its long-standing tradition of hosting the US Open Tennis Championships (US Open) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York City.
Breaking attendance records, the star-studded US Open welcomed over 950,000 spectators. Coincidingly, NYNJ hosted back-to-back NFL season-opening games at MetLife Stadium.
The New York Giants took on the Dallas Cowboys on September 10 and MetLife Stadium rapidly and impressively turned over the field to prepare for the New York Jets’ face-off with the Buffalo Bills on September 11.
NYNJ has continued to cement itself as a preferred sports destination worldwide.
From transportation agencies to government officials, the depth of dedication put forth by NYNJ is unrivalled.
Just last week, New York City impressively gathered leaders and top government officials of the world for the annual United Nations General Assembly summit.
As the region’s strengths continue to be highlighted through its passion for sports, transportation accessibility, and vast cultural attractions, NYNJ looks to make history by hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026 Final.
FIFA is expected to announce the location for marquee games, including the Final, later this year.