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The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press


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Hey World, Welcome to JERSEY!

Hey World, Welcome to JERSEY!


After such a spectacular performance by so many stars on the big stage back in 2022, FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is already looking forward to 2026, here in North America! However, just recently, the organization announced where the historic final of the tournament will be hosted, right here in East Rutherford at MetLife Stadium!


How This World Cup Shines More Than the Rest

The tournament is infamous for the most big-time moments in the sport’s history and where the world has been more connected than ever. From nations like Mexico, Japan/South Korea, Russia, South Africa, and most recently Qatar, 2026 will be on the continental stage. The hosts, Mexico, Canada, and the United States are all found in the continent of North America. A World Cup of this magnitude has never been done before. It’s also only the second time where multiple nations have hosted the World Cup, with Japan and South Korea respectively hosting the tournament back in 2002.


Why New Jersey?

It’s clear to most that picking MetLife Stadium is an odd choice to hold the most famous sporting event in the world, so why? Well, FIFA had many to choose from (most notability SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and AT&T Stadium in Dallas), but it ultimately came down to issues involving FIFA’s guidelines for matches, revenue disputes, a lot of convincing by MetLife personnel (including both the Governors of New Jersey and New York). It was at one point between AT&T Stadium and MetLife, which boiled down to the main factor that gave Jersey the edge, transportation. The final of the World Cup brings almost everyone from all over the world, so transportation is key to having an organized (and safe) experience for fans. AT&T Stadium did not have the major public transportation found here in N.J. which ultimately led FIFA to pick MetLife.

Other Stadium Locations:

With such a giant-scale tournament to stretch between three nations, FIFA came up with this layout:

  • 16 stadiums will host different matches between all three nations
  • 104 games will be played throughout the tournament
  • 3 stadiums will host the tournament in Mexico 
  • 2 stadiums will host the tournament in Canada
  • 11 stadiums will host the tournament in the United States


With this in mind, here are all the locations and stadium names to host the tournament:

BMO Stadium- Toronto, Canada

BC Place Stadium- Vancouver, Canada

Estadio Azteca*- Mexico City, Mexico (game-opener host)

Estadio Akron- Guadalajara. Mexico

Estadio BBVA Bancomer- Monterey, Mexico

Lumen Field- Seattle, USA

Arrowhead Stadium- Kansas City, USA

Levi’s Stadium- San Francisco, USA

Mercedes Benz Stadium- Atlanta, USA

SoFi Stadium- Los Angeles, USA

Hard Rock Stadium- Miami, USA

Lincoln Financial Field (Go Birds!)– Philadelphia, USA

AT&T Stadium- Arlington, USA

NRG Stadium- Houston, USA

Gillette Stadium- Boston, USA

And, of course,

MetLife Stadium– East Rutherford, USA

How the Tournament Will Work

FIFA has made some big changes to the tournament, as they increased how many nations can qualify from 32 and doubled it to 48 nations. All three host nations are automatically qualified for the tournament, while 45 other nations must battle it out during each region’s qualifier games. After much controversy on how the group stage would play out, FIFA has ultimately decided to make 12 groups that consist of 4 teams. This means the top 2 teams of each group will qualify for the next round (however, with this format, the 8 best teams in third place in a group will also pass to even the next round) of 32. From the round of 32 and forward, it’s automatic elimination if a team loses. Once at the semi-final stage, teams who lose have a chance to play for third place and of course, the top two nations will be welcomed in at MetLife as one lifts the historic trophy.


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