MetLife Stadium’s predecessor previously hosted the World Cup semifinals in 1994
The New York Jets and New York Giants will be subletting MetLife Stadium come the summer of 2026.
The East Rutherford football venue was confirmed to be one of the 11 NFL stadiums that will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, joining AFC East rivals Miami (Hard Rock Stadium) and New England (Gillette Stadium). Specific matchups for each venue will be announced at a later date.
“We are honored to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup with our neighbors across the Hudson, and we are fully prepared to deliver the world-class experience that the beautiful game deserves,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a celebration at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, per NJ.com. “Future generations of New Jerseyans will remember fondly that, on the heels of a global pandemic, the biggest sporting event in the world was hosted by the greatest region in the world.”
East Rutherford previously hosted matches in the 1994 edition of the men’s soccer tournament at Giants Stadium including the semifinal showdown between Bulgaria and eventual runner-up Italy. MetLife has hosted several international team matches in its relatively young history, the most recent being a scoreless friendly featuring Argentina and Colombia in September 2018.
In club affairs, MetLife featured the first “Madrid Derby” beyond European soil in July 2019 as part of the 2019 International Champions Cup. Atletico Madrid topped Real Madrid by a 7-3 final.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first shared between three nations (with Canada and Mexico also hosting) and also the first under the newly installed 48-team format. One more in the traditional 32-squad set-up awaits in Qatar this November.
Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle are the other NFL markets partaking in the 2026 World Cup festivities, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, and Nashville were among those rejected.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags