New York and New Jersey have stepped up their bid to host the 2026 finals World Cup promising performances similar to “Eight Super Bowls” at Thursday’s opening ceremony for the tournament, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino did not say which cities would be among the three finalists when the venues were announced last year.
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Neighboring countries, which will receive fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey – are facing tough competition from Los Angeles, whose $5.5 billion outdoor SoFi Stadium in Inglewood has more interest.
“We want to host the finals. There is no better place to host the game than at MetLife Stadium,” said retired NFL executive Michael Strahan, who made his name with the New York Giants but has now fallen in love with football.
“This is football, right? All I did was have guys running around in tight pants.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who was joined at the launch of Times Square by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, promised a spectacle greater than the region had ever seen.
The stadium, then known as Giants Stadium, hosted seven World Cup matches in 1994 and four of the Women’s World Cup matches in 1999.
“We think we’re going to get at least eight games — that’s eight Super Bowls,” Murphy said.
“Every ticket will be sold, I guarantee you. It doesn’t matter who’s playing.”
The launch event was among several cities held across the continent on Thursday, the following day Los Angeles launched the “WE ARE 26” campaign. to promote competition.
Infantino refused to be persuaded to know if Los Angeles hosting the launch of the brand means it will host the finals of the 2026 World Cup.
“Of course, Los Angeles is an important city, it’s one of the 16 [host] cities,” he said.
“But, obviously, it’s a reserve. It’s an entry point to America. It’s also the city where the final of the World Cup in the United States was played. We don’t know where the final of the World Cup. The Cup will be played. This is still a foregone conclusion, so to speak. So please contact us. what you want is to make sure we add what you want, but Los Angeles will be one of the most important cities for this World Cup.
CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani added that he would “probably have an announcement at the end of the year” about where the finals are.