FIFA World Cup 2026: New York/New Jersey To Host Final Game

Skift Take

The 2026 FIFA World Cup’s final match will take place in New York and New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. This could change the future of tourism to New York City and New Jersey.

— Dawit Habtemariam

New York and New Jersey are going to host the biggest sporting event in tourism: The 2026 FIFA World Cup Final. FIFA made the announcement on Sunday.

By hosting the match, New York and New Jersey get not only the prestige but millions of dollars in visitor spending.  People from all over the world are going to descend on the area to attend the game or hang at the local Fan Fest, a free public viewing of the game.

Over a billion eyes around the world will be on New York and New Jersey, giving the area historic publicity to potential tourists.  Around 1.5 billion people watched the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final in Qatar.

The World Cup final match is set to take place on July 19, 2026.

What’s So Unique About 2026 FIFA World Cup

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is unique for many reasons. Mexico, the U.S., and Canada are going to co-host the tournament. It is going to consist of a historic 104 matches and 48 teams.

There are going to be 16 host cities: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco Bay Area, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

In addition, FIFA has to collaborate with each of the 16 local host organizing committees, each of which will be responsible for its own funding and planning. 

In the U.S., the federal government will not cover the majority of the costs. Local authorities are largely on their own when it comes to facilitating the event. 

“A lot of times for international events, the federal governments of other countries come in and pay for the majority of it, where that’s not the case here in the United States,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, at a panel at the Destinations International Annual Convention last July. “It’s a key shift for how FIFA thinks about the World Cup.”

That said, the tourism return on investment for hosts is not clear. For the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar spent $229 billion — the highest in the tournament’s history. Despite all that spending, tourist desire to visit Qatar after the World Cup has been mixed, according to a Skift Advisory report.

Where Key Games Will be Played

Here’s which host cities got the other key matches.

  • Opening match in the U.S.: Los Angeles
  • Opening match in Mexico: Mexico City
  • Opening match in Canada: Toronto
  • Quarter final host cities: Kansas City,  Los Angeles, Miami, Boston
  • Semi-finals host cities: Dallas, Atlanta
  • Host city with most matches: Dallas (9 matches)

Photo Credit: World Cup Trophy

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