New York and New Jersey boosted their bid to host the 2026 World Cup final by promising a spectacle equivalent to “eight Super Bowls” at a launch event on Thursday for the tournament, co-hosted by the United States. , Mexico and Canada.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave no indication of which of the three countries’ host cities would host the finale when the venues were announced last year.
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Neighboring states, which host fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey — face stiff competition from Los Angeles, whose $5.5 billion indoor-outdoor SoFi Stadium in Inglewood has more razzmatazz appeal.
“We want to host the final. There is no better place to host the final than MetLife Stadium,” said retired NFL player Michael Strahan, who made his name with the New York Giants but now loves soccer.
“This is football, OK? That thing I do is running guys in tight pants running at each other.”
The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, who joined the launch of Times Square by New York Mayor Eric Adams, promised a scene that is more than the region has seen before.
The venue, formerly known as Giants Stadium, hosted seven World Cup matches in 1994 and four during the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
“We think we’re going to get at least eight games — that’s eight Super Bowls,” Murphy said.
“Every ticket will sell, I guarantee you. Whoever plays.”
The launch event was one of several in host cities across the continent on Thursday, a day after Los Angeles launched the “WE ARE 26” campaign to promote the tournament.
Infantino refused to be swayed if the fact that Los Angeles hosted the launch of the brand meant it would host the 2026 World Cup final.
“Of course Los Angeles is an important city, one of the 16 [host] cities,” he said.
“But, obviously, it’s a hub. It’s an entry hub in America. It’s the city where the final of the last World Cup in the United States was also played. The Cup will be played. It’s still up for grabs, so to speak. So please send us your offers and make sure we improve the proposals, but Los Angeles will be one of the important cities of this World Cup, for sure.”
CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani added that they “may have an announcement later in the year” about the location of the final.