Thursday December 7, 2023

FIFA Down To Two Candidates For 2026 World Cup Final

  • Hotly contested battle said to be between Texas, N.J. stadiums
  • Comment closely follows reported disagreements between FIFA, SoFi Stadium
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The hotly contested race to host the 2026 World Cup Final is down to a pair of competing stadiums, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. 

The marquee event is likely a race between MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home of the New York Jets and Giants, and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. 

FIFA is set to make a decision and announce the match selections before the end of the year. As that choice nears, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been visiting many of the venues, including AT&T Stadium for a Cowboys-Jets game on Sept. 17, and the Jets-Patriots game at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 24.

“[FIFA is] going around, but they’ve been pretty clear publicly that it’s Dallas or here in our bid with New York City,” said Murphy, who has been active in the New York-New Jersey bid. “It’s not just the final. That means every stadium gets their package of games. So you don’t know the teams, but you know the dates and you know what you’re going to sell generally.”

Murphy’s comment notably omits California’s SoFi Stadium, the $5 billion venue home to the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers that also has been vying for the final. Venue owner Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, however, has been at odds with FIFA over revenue-sharing components of the event.

The U.S. is co-hosting the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada. 

Meanwhile, FIFA is also establishing a greater U.S. presence, recently finalizing plans to move more than 100 jobs from its headquarters in Switzerland to Coral Gables, Florida. That new American unit will house the organization’s legal department, and the audit, compliance, and risk management teams. 

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