New York City to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup Final, Mexico Gets Opener: All You Need to Know
New York City to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup Final, Mexico Gets Opener: All You Need to Know

In an exciting announcement on Saturday, organizers revealed that New York City's MetLife Stadium will host the final game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, beating out Dallas for the coveted spot on July 19.

This mega-event, featuring an expanded 48-team format, will be jointly hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Kicking off the tournament will be the opening match at Mexico City's renowned Azteca Stadium on June 11, according to AFP reports.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "The most inclusive and impactful FIFA World Cup ever is no longer a dream but a reality that will take shape in the form of 104 matches in 16 state-of-the-art stadiums across Canada, Mexico, and the USA."

He added, "From the opening match at the iconic Estadio Azteca to the spectacular final in New York New Jersey, players and fans have been at the core of our extensive planning for this game-changing tournament... that will not only set new records but also leave an indelible legacy."

The semi-finals will be held in Atlanta and Dallas, with Miami hosting the third-place match. Quarter-final games are set to take place in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, and Boston, as per AFP reports.

A total of 16 cities across the three countries will host games, with the majority being held in the USA. This isn't the first time the United States has hosted the World Cup; it previously did so in 1994, with the final held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

New York, which hosted games in the 1994 tournament at the now-demolished Giants Stadium, is gearing up for the 2026 finals at MetLife Stadium, opened in 2010.

The decisions were revealed during a live television broadcast featuring Infantino, comedian Kevin Hart, rapper Drake, and celebrity Kim Kardashian.

Key Facts About FIFA World Cup 2026:

The Azteca Stadium will make history as the first venue to host matches for three different World Cup tournaments, following its roles in the 1970 and 1986 events.

A round-of-16 match will coincide with Independence Day in Philadelphia, where the US Declaration of Independence was signed.

The United States will commence group stage competition at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on June 12 and will also play in Seattle.

Toronto will host the first game for the Canadian team, while Vancouver is another Canadian venue.

With the expansion to 48 teams, there will be 24 additional matches, totaling 104 games across the 16 venues.

The tournament will feature 12 groups of four teams each, with the top two advancing along with the eight best third-placed teams, leading to a straight knockout format.

FIFA emphasized the design of the match schedule to limit travel for the teams, with the full draw expected to be held in late 2025.

The 16 host cities for the tournament include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.

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