Today’s column guests are New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
On a sunny weekend afternoon earlier this year, the stands at MetLife Stadium were packed to capacity. Although it was only an exhibition game, 82,500 rowdy, passionate fans turned out to watch the clash between two elite soccer clubs with large followings in the New York New Jersey area.
More from Sportico.com
Of course, the “soccer” we are referring to here is soccer.
July 22nd match between Arsenal vs Manchester United It was the latest evidence of soccer fever in our neighborhood. after a week, Brighton Capturing Newcastle to a similar sold-out crowd in Harrison, NJ For weeks, our bars and restaurants were packed — often at odd hours — with fans watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In three years, our region will host its own FIFA World Cup, the North American men’s tournament is coming. Last year, we had the honor of winning one of the sixteen host cities of the competition; We are preparing to host at least eight matches in the biggest sporting event in the history of the world.
As we prepare, our eyes are turned to one match in particular: the 2026 World Cup Final. This is a game that can and should only be played here.
From our massive infrastructure to our massive media market to our football-infused culture, we are the most poised to bring this game to the stage it deserves. American football fans agree – in a recent YouGov poll, fans named New York New Jersey as the region best equipped to tackle the Final.
It’s not hard to see why fans feel this way; MetLife Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in American professional sports, with a capacity north of 80,000. Our region’s three major international airports, hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms and massive public transportation network have no problem accommodating even the largest events.
And with the FIFA World Cup taking center stage during the summer of 2026, the myriad popular tourist destinations in our region will ensure our visitors pack itineraries between matches. Our one-of-a-kind attractions are why, in the same YouGov poll, more football fans expressed interest in visiting the New York-NJ area than any other host city.
Big world events are what we do best here in New York New Jersey – it’s part of our DNA. Arsenal and Manchester United weren’t alone in filling up the MetLife Stadium this summer; Over the past several months, the venue has hosted over 60 events (including 18 concerts) with over 3 million fans passing through its gates. From Taylor Swift to Ed Sheeran to Beyoncé, each of these blockbuster shows has launched with success — with The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, still to come.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be our biggest event yet – and the region’s government leaders are committed to ensuring the impact of the tournament continues. We are working closely with the US Soccer Foundation to ensure that the legacy of the 2026 FIFA World Cup in our region continues beyond the next few years and helps ensure access to football and its lifelong benefits to children from all walks of life. We also coordinate closely with community groups and fellow government leaders to ensure that activities related to tournaments and economic opportunity are accessible and fulfilling by all, especially in under-resourced communities.
As we welcome the world to New York New Jersey, we will proudly and unapologetically showcase our distinct regional culture. We are the business and media capital of the world; We are home to the United Nations. Our residents come from more than 138 countries and speak more than 200 languages. We are the melting pot of the world, and our fierce regional pride emerges because of — not in spite of — our perceived heterogeneity.
These values – diversity, individuality, unity of purpose – are what the FIFA World Cup™ is all about. As FIFA’s leaders make their final decision on where to hold their signature event, we urge them to take note of not only what makes our region great, but what our region stands for. When it comes to values—even on hot political topics like immigration, public safety, and reproductive freedom—we’re confident we’re on the right side of history.
We can also promise this: no matter which countries are playing, no matter what time of day it is, every match of the 2026 World Cup will be sold out, and fan festivities will be packed to capacity. That’s the beauty of a region as diverse as ours – both on and off the field, we have a cheerleading squad ready for every country on Earth.
Our football history is as rich as any region in North America. On November 6, 1869, Princeton and Rutgers faced off in the first American intercollegiate football game. In the 1870s, soccer fanaticism of Scottish and Irish immigrants earned Kearney, New Jersey, the nickname “Suckertown, USA”. On October 1, 1977, Pelé played his last game at a sold-out Giants Stadium.
On July 19, 2026, we are ready to write the next chapter. If we are given the privilege of hosting the 2026 World Cup Final, we will make sure that the biggest sporting event in the world gets the place it deserves.
Mayor Eric Adams has served the people of New York City as an NYPD officer, senator, Brooklyn borough chief, and now as the 110th Mayor of New York City. Governor Philip D. Murphy was sworn in for a second term as the 56th governor of New Jersey on January 18, 2022, becoming the first Democratic governor to serve a second term in 44 years.