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New York/NewJersey, MetLife Stadium awarded with 2026 FIFA World Cup Final

MetLife Stadium World Cup Final
MetLife Stadium (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The largest singular sporting event in the world will take place in the Big Apple in 2026. 

FIFA announced on Sunday that New York/New Jersey, specifically MetLife Stadium, will play host to the 2026 World Cup Final, which is scheduled for July 19 of that year. 

In total, MetLife Stadium will host eight matches: Five group-stage matches, one Round of 32, one Round of 16, and the Final.

The semifinals will be played in Atlanta, GA and Arlington, TX.

The World Cup Final is the most-watched sporting event, bringing in an estimated 1.5 billion viewers for its 2022 culmination in Qatar between Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Kylian Mbappe’s France. 

Lionel Messi Inter Miami MLS
Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Argentina and Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

This is the second time ever that the New York City area will host men’s World Cup matches. During the 1994 competition, seven matches were played at the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, next to where MetLife Stadium currently stands. The venue hosted the World Cup semifinal between Italy and Bulgaria. 

Also within the announcement, FIFA announced that the opening match of the World Cup will take place in Mexico City for one of the competition’s co-hosts, Mexico. The United States will open its competition one day later on June 12, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and split their group-stage matches between LA and Seattle, WA.

In total, 78 of the 104 matches will be played in the United States with Mexico and Canada receiving group-stage and early knockout matches.

The full distribution of matches amongst the 16 North American cities is as follows:

2026 World Cup schedule by city

  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16, 1 semifinal
  • Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 quarterfinal
  • AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX: 5 group stage, 2 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16, 1 semifinal
  • NRG Stadium, Houston, TX: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16
  • Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO: 4 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 quarterfinal
  • SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA: 5 group stage, 2 Round of 32, 1 quarterfinal
  • Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL: 4 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 quarterfinal, 3rd-place match
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16, 2026 FIFA World Cup Final
  • Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 16
  • Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32
  • BMO Field, Toronto, Canada: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32
  • BC Place, Vancouver, Canada: 5 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16
  • Estadio Akron, Zapopan, Mexico: 4 group stage
  • Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico: 3 group stage, 1 Round of 32, 1 Round of 16
  • Estadio BBVA, Guadalupe, Mexico: 3 group stage, 1 Round of 32 

For more on the 2026 World Cup, visit AMNY.com