New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to host 2026 World Cup final as Azteca gets opener

by 24britishtvFeb. 5, 2024, 8 a.m. 23
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New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium will host the final of the 2026 World Cup, which will take place across North America in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The 82,500 capacity MetLife Stadium is in New Jersey but is five miles from New York City and is the home of the NFL’s New York Jets and Giants. It hosted the Super Bowl in February 2014 and the final of the Copa America Centenario in 2016.

The tournament will be the first edition of the World Cup in its expanded 48-team format. The final will take place on 19 July after a 39-day tournament taking in 104 matches, the most in World Cup history. The first match will be on 11 June in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which has hosted the tournament opener on two previous occasions, in 1970 and 1986.

The first ever men’s World Cup match in Canada will be on 12 June in Toronto’s BMO Field, which will host the Canadian team’s opener. Vancouver’s 54,500 capacity BC Place will be the venue for Canada’s second and third group matches. “It’s important to be coast-to-coast,” said Mauro Biello, Canada’s interim manager.

The US will play their opener on 12 June at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which will host the opening ceremony for the LA Olympics in 2028 and was the venue for the Super Bowl two years ago. The US will play their final group game at the SoFi and their other opening round fixture at Seattle’s Lumen Field, keeping the co-hosts on the west coast for their first three matches.

“You think of LA an iconic soccer city, already hosting two World Cup finals with the men’s in 1994 and the women’s in 1999 and 2003 … there’s a lot going on in LA and SoFi stadium is an amazing venue,” said US manager Gregg Berhalter. “Then thinking about Seattle with its rich fan culture, loud atmosphere in the stadium … it’s going to be an incredible atmosphere in all those stadiums.”

Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium will host the third-place playoff. The semi-finals will take place in Dallas and Atlanta, with the quarter-finals in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston. The round of 16 will be hosted in Vancouver, Seattle, Mexico City, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey. Each of the host cities will get a round of 32 match, with the exception of Guadalajara and Philadelphia.

Dallas, which some had tipped to host the final, will stage nine matches at the tournament, more than any other city.

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