Soccer fans blasted the decision to host the 2026 World Cup Final in New Jersey’s MetLife stadium given its lack of transportation and unpredictable weather.
‘Dude, people from all over the world are coming to this. And nobody wants to rent a car to drive to a distant exurb for the game. American stadiums suck when it comes to accessibility, nobody is coming to tailgate at the World Cup,’ one user on X responded to the news.
While another X user wrote: ‘I love NY/NJ. Lived in Brooklyn for 50+ years. But I’ve been in MetLife Stadium. It is a generic venue without charm or any feeling of soccer history. Weather could be a negative factor too. The Rose Bowl lacks many comforts, but looks amazing on TV & has hosted the Final.’
On Sunday, FIFA announced the decision to host the Final in New York over Dallas and Los Angeles for the world’s biggest soccer competition.
MetLife Stadium – home of New York’s two NFL teams, the Jets and Giants – is actually based in Jersey but boasts the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. MetLIfe’s regular capacity is 82,500 but has no room to expand further.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the venue for the 2026 World Cup Final. The New York City metro stadium was chosen over facilities in LA and Dallas
Robert Baggio of Italy celebrates with the crowd after scoring during the 1994 World Cup semi-final against Bulgaria at the Giants Stadium in New York. Now, the same site will play host to a Final in 2026
Whereas AT&T Stadium in Dallas could seat 93,000 spectators and LA’s SoFi Stadium offers Southern California’s predictable sunny and mild weather in July.
In 1994, the last time the World Cup was in the US, New Jersey’s Giants stadium played host to games but the Finals was held in the Rose Bowl.
In response to the 2025 decision, one user posted on X, ‘this was literally the worst possible option…’ referring to FIFA’s announcement.
‘We really chose this ugly a** location to play the final of the World Cup,’ another user on X posted.
One user joked about the underwhelming exterior of the stadium, alluding that FIFA World Cup fans from all over the world would be disappointed when they arrive at the MetLife stadium ‘instead of Los Angeles or even Dallas for the Final.’
‘Should have been SoFi. That stadium is world-class. They chose the worst of the 3,’ a soccer fan said on X.
‘LA already had a World Cup final and Dallas was a logistical nightmare,’ a user responded – with another pointing out that LA’s time zone was another reason that FIFA opted for MetLife.
FIFA made the announcement Sunday at a Miami television studio, where they also allocated the opener of the 39-day tournament to Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca on June 11.
The next World Cup is going to be expanded from 32 teams to 48 for the first time, with a total of 104 games to be played across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
A nation will need to play eight matches to win the title, up from seven since 1982.
Kim Kardashian and her son Saint announced the US team will play its opener at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on June 12, then travel to Seattle’s Lumen Field and finish the group stage at SoFi.
Reports last month suggested AT&T Stadium in Dallas would play host to the Final in 2026, where 93,000 could watch the game
SoFi stadium in LA has hosted the Super Bowl, but will not be the site for the 2024 World Cup Final
LA’s Rose Bowl played host to the Finals in 1994
Romario of Brazil is tackled by Franco Baresi of Italy during the 1994 World Cup Final
FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the opening game for 2026 would be played in Mexico City
Despite missing out on the final, AT&T Stadium has the most matches of any venue with nine, and officials there said one of the games is a semifinal.
Officials at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta said the other semifinal was being played there. FIFA officials did not publicly explain their site-decision process.
Canada, meanwhile, will play its opening first-round match in Toronto on June 12, then its following two games in Vancouver.
Other U.S. sites are Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; NRG Stadium in Houston; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
When the U.S. hosted the 24-nation, 52-game tournament in 1994, the final was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and the opener at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
During the 1994 World Cup, New Jersey’s ‘Giant’s Stadium’ as it was previously known hosted seven of the matches.