The United States-Canada-Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup would be — if approved by FIFA — the first of its kind. Never before has three nations been the host of one World Cup.
However, that’s not the only piece of history the US stands to gain from hosting the 2026 contest.
According to the official bid, the 2026 World Cup final would be hosted at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the current home of both the New York Giants and New York Jets NFL franchises. Having an official capacity of 82,500 which can be expanded to just under 85,000, MetLife is the second largest football arena in the United States behind only the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which seats 93,607.
This would mark the first time the New York metro would host a World Cup final. This wouldn’t be the first time the area would have hosted a World Cup matchup, though. The old Giants Stadium — the predecessor to MetLife Stadium — also hosted several Group E matches in the 1994 World Cup, a competition that still holds attendance records to this day.
Any New Jersey/New York involvement with the 2026 World Cup — especially a final — could provide the area not only a brief economic boom, but could also be benefical to local soccer participation, much like the 1994 World Cup did. Prior to ‘94, the US did not have a top-flight soccer league since the original North American Soccer League (NASL) went under in 1984. Because of this, part of the United States’ bid included founding a new first-division professional soccer league.
That league would become Major League Soccer, which continues to grow today.
You don’t need me to tell you the benefits the league could reap should this bid come to fruition. After all, it was because of the ‘94 World Cup that we have a league to call our own in the first place.