IFA Delegation Tours MetLife Stadium and Other Venues in Advance of 2026 FIFA World Cup Site Selection
EAST RUTHERFORD – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted officials from FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, who concluded their visit today after touring MetLife Stadium and other area venues as they continue the site selection process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The delegation was led by FIFA Vice-President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani and Colin Smith, FIFA Chief Tournaments and Events Officer, and included FIFA experts across multiple fields, including venue management, stadium and city infrastructure, team facilities, commercial, bidding, and legal. Representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, along with representatives from the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation, also joined the delegation.
New Jersey and New York City presented a joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup with the goal of once again bringing one of the greatest sporting events in the world to East Rutherford.
“This is an immensely exciting opportunity to showcase our great state to an international audience,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The FIFA World Cup is among the premier sporting events in the world and MetLife Stadium is among the country’s best, so we’re excited for the chance to bring the two together.”
“New York City and New Jersey have all the assets we need to host an unforgettable World Cup: world-class, accessible facilities, a truly global population of fans, and the best tourist destinations on the globe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m proud to welcome FIFA to the region and I look forward to many more productive conversations in the coming months,”
In addition to touring MetLife Stadium, members of the delegation visited several potential FIFA Fan Fest sites around the region, including Liberty State Park and New York City’s Central Park. Six additional sites would be used as training facilities, including Rutgers University, the Pingry School, Kean University, Red Bull Arena and Training Facility, and the New York City Football Club Training Facility.
The NY/NJ Host City Bid Committee also launched a campaign entitled “Welcome, World” highlighting the region’s passion for the sport and desire to be an official 2026 FIFA World Cup Host City. The welcome video can be found here.
“This morning we received a great presentation from the Governor, the Deputy Mayor and the whole range of officials who are involved in the candidate city bid,” said Colin Smith, Chief Tournaments and Events Officer for FIFA. “It was a very well structured, very professional presentation and we received a lot of good information. This region is used to hosting major event and to see the collaboration between all parties is obviously very important to us.”
“We are excited to be here. We have been very well received by the Governor, the Mayor, and the whole team,” said FIFA Vice-President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani. “Their passion for their game, and their passion to bring the World Cup to New York and New Jersey comes through very clearly. We’ll continue to work with them and we’re shooting for having a decision in the first quarter of next year.”
“New Jersey’s more than 30 years of experience hosting one-of-a-kind events, including seven games for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a papal mass by Pope John Paul II, the Super Bowl, and two WrestleManias, are proof that the New Jersey Meadowlands is well-prepared to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026,” said New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority President and CEO, Vincent Prieto.
“As the ultimate sports capital and the world’s most welcoming destination, New York City is well-positioned to host the FIFA 2026 World Cup at MetLife Stadium, a premier venue in the greater New York area,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “We are grateful to the FIFA delegation for considering New York City and New Jersey as a future destination for this renowned event.”
“New Jersey has the experience, commitment, and state-of-the-art facilities needed to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Our state has a rich history with soccer,” said ChooseNJ CEO, Jose Lozano. “Over the years, MetLife Stadium has successfully hosted record-setting international soccer matches thanks to our strategic location, unparalleled transportation access, and world-class amenities. New Jersey and New York are ready and excited to host this extraordinary event.”
“The New Jersey Meadowlands has played host to the world’s largest and most prestigious events,” said Jim Kirkos, President and CEO of the Meadowlands Chamber. “We are all thankful to FIFA for considering us and we are anxious to provide a “NJ Warm Welcome” to the many fans from around the world who will come to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. We know how to do BIG…and experience matters.”
The U.S last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994, and Giants Stadium played host to seven games, including a quarterfinal and semifinal match.
“MetLife Stadium would be honored to host matches in 2026. Our world-class stadium is the perfect showcase for the greatest players and the biggest global sporting event taking place in New Jersey,” said MetLife Stadium President and CEO Ron VanDeVeen
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. is the home of the NFL New York Giants and New York Jets. The stadium has a capacity exceeding 82,000, making it one of the largest venues currently under consideration by FIFA.
Other U.S. cities in the running to host matches are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In addition to the U.S. cities, Canada is featuring Edmonton and Toronto as host cities and in Mexico, they are featuring Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first ever jointly hosted by three nations. The final decision is due early next year.