On Thursday, June 16, celebrations erupted as the New York/New Jersey region was chosen to host games for the 2026 World Cup, according to a press release.
Soccer fans, players, and supporters joined NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NJ Governor Phil Murphy at a watch party in Liberty State Park to celebrate the momentous occasion. Iconic landmarks and stadiums across the region lit up with messages of celebration, including the Empire State Building which glowed through the night in red, white, and blue.
NY and NJ submitted a joint bid to host matches at MetLife Stadium, which hosts two million guests annually. In addition to matches played at MetLife Stadium, New York and New Jersey will host FIFA Fan Fest sites around the region.
Governor Kathy Hochul took part in spreading the good news, stating, “New York is a natural fit to host the FIFA World Cup. Our unparalleled cultural experiences and countless tourist attractions make us the ideal venue for the thousands of fans who will come to enjoy this historic competition…we are ready to provide an unforgettable experience for millions around the globe.”
The region’s soccer-friendly culture combined with its global and diverse population makes this region a no-brainer hosting site. The U.S. last hosted the men’s FIFA World Cup in 1994, when Giants Stadium played host to seven games. The stadium also hosted the opening match for the women’s FIFA World Cup in 1999.
“New York City is thrilled to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, bringing the drama and excitement here to the city that never sleeps!” said Mayor Adams. “Not only will the World Cup strengthen our economy by providing a major boost, but it will showcase FIFA and the sport of soccer to all of America. As mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the world — and one filled with soccer fans — I know our city represents the diversity of this world game and we couldn’t be more ready to welcome the world in 2026.”