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MetLife Stadium Set to Host 2026 World Cup Final: Capacity, Location, Photos, More

MetLife Stadium Set to Host 2026 World Cup Final: Capacity, Location, Photos, More

FIFA president Gianni Infantino made the exciting revelation that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held at the Metlife Stadium, New Jersey on 19 July, 2026. Even though there are still well over two years to go for the competition and most teams haven’t even qualified, the hype is being built up for what is going to be a historic 48-team World Cup for the first time ever!

Now, the Metlife Stadium isn’t the largest stadium in the USA – that falls to the Michigan Stadium which has hosted over 107,000 fans. However, it’s the state-of-the-art design of Metlife Stadium, its attractive location (being only 5 KM away from the west of New York City) and its facilities have allowed it to get this big task of hosting a World Cup final.

Stadium Overview

The Metlife Stadium was created to host matches for NFL sides New York Giants and New York Jets, because the previous Giants Stadium had already grown 30 years old. It was unveiled in 2010 and was the brainchild of the work of 350 architects, which includes Ewing Cole, David Rockwell and Bruce Mau Designs.

The venue size is a whopping 2.1 million square feet long and the stadium cost a huge $1.6 billion to create. The Metlife Stadium’s design was inspired by that of the Allianz Arena (Bayern Munich’s stadium) with the outer skin of the stadium being of aluminium louvers and glass, which is capable of changing colors based on when New York Jets or New York Giants are playing.

It is an open-air stadium that can close or open the roof of the stadium depending on situations. In 2012, a Solar Ring was instilled on the upper rim of the stadium – which consist of Solar Panels that help display attractive colours depending on the teams playing or events held.

The Metlife Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that has held over 550 major events and 3000 special events. It hosted the first-ever cold-weather, outdoor SuperBowl XLVII, two WWE Wrestlemania events, the 2021 Army-Navy Game and many major musical concerts too.

Capacity and Seating

The capacity of the Metlife Stadium is capped at 82,500 for football and soccer matches. It is mostly capped at around 50,000 when it comes to concerts, but the FIFA World Cup is going to see over 80,000 fans be able to watch the World Cup final.

There are over 200 VIP suits across the four separate levels at the Metlife Stadium. Each suits can accommodate around 16-24 seats, with the suits typically costing from $5,000-$30,000 for NFL matches.

Technology and Facilities

The fans attending the matches at the Metlife Stadium will have no issues at all with figuring out what is happening on the pitch, even those on the upper tiers of the stadium. There are four massive 30 ft x 118 ft monitors all across the stadium and 2,100 HD TV’s located all over the stadium.

There is also a 360 degree universal scoreboard which shows the display of the score all throughout the stadium. The Metlife Stadium has 19 different food stands, with food options for both non-vegetarian and vegan people being at the offering. There are also 1,350 toilets all over the Metlife Stadium, a 56% increase from the old Giants Stadium. Moreover, there are cup holders for every seat as well.

History of Events

Since its inauguration in 2010, The Metlife Stadium has held some of the biggest events possible. It has been the host of a SuperBowl, two Wrestlemania events, major concerts of  musical sensations like BTS, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Beyonce and much more.

The MetLife stadium tends to use retractable seating on the side-lines to fit for a FIFA-sanctioned football pitch when hosting football matches and has hosted many international games over the years. The recent-most game to be held in the stadium was in July, 2023 when Manchester United and Arsenal faced off against each other in front of 80,000 fans. The 2016 Copa America Cetenerio final, won by Chile over Argentina, was also held at this stadium.

Of course, these events have only helped elevate the reputation of the stadium. Because of how safely the events went through with no controversy or possible issues, FIFA were probably compelled to consider them as a prime candidate to host the 2026 World Cup.

Environmental Initiatives

The MetLife Stadium is reputed for its efforts in helping the environment and setting out from the rest with its initiatives. In 2021, the stadium became the first NFL stadium to join the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Sports for Climate Action Framework, which aims to achieve global greenhouse gas emission reduction.

The sustainability goals at the MetLife Stadium include energy consumption by using on-site solar generation, LED lighting, motion sensor lighting and electric vehicles. There are waterless urinals and water filtration fountains to help water conservation and the material management system includes food donation, material donation, food waste diversion and electronic and universal waste recycling. In 2009, the Stadium was named as the ‘Greenest Stadium’ in the NFL by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Security And Safety Measures

The MetLife stadium prioritizes on the safety of the attendees and there are security personnel all over the stadium whenever an event takes place. Before an event, the fans need to walk through a walk-in magnetometer, which is a screening device that can detect any suspicious material being carried into the stadium.

Fan Experience

There are some interactive events that take place outside the MetLife Stadium before NFL matches such as allowing kids to go through obstacle courses, kick field goals or soft passes. The New York Jets have tried amplifying their fan engagement activities this year by handing out LED hand bands to its fans before games and there is a ‘t-shirt cannon’ being built, where t-shirts are blasted onto the crowd using a canon.

Now, for the FIFA World Cup, the organizers are likely to change up their engagement events. More football-based fan activities are likely to happen outside the MetLife stadium and possibly inside it as well for the fans to be engaged in before games. This could include quizzes, trivia shows, or stuff like an in-door, short football field where fans can play with each other.

Local Impact

The Local community and businesses around the MetLife Stadium can probably enjoy the prospect of it hosting the World Cup final and multiple other games in the 2026 World Cup. That is because as per estimations, a host city for World Cup games can expect to rake in $90 million to $480 million in revenue.

For example, Wrestlemania 29 helped create a revenue of over $100 million in 2013 for the New Jersey/New York area. This was equal to the creation of 943 full-time jobs in that area.


The MetLife Stadium is situated in East Rutherford, New Jersey – which isn’t that far away from New York City. There are multiple ways to travel to the stadium, including public and private transportation. There is a direct train from the Secaucus Junction in New Jersey to the front-door of the Metlife Stadium that takes just 10 minutes to cover.

Meanwhile, one can also get from New York Penn Stadium to the Metlife Stadium Sports Complex for a round-trip amount of $11. For those travelling by car, there is a 1,100 space parking complex nearby the stadium too. Meanwhile, Coach USA also offers bus service from the Port Authority to the MetLife Stadium Sports Complex.


There are many hotel accommodations all around the MetLife stadium, including the likes of the Hampton Inn Carlstadt, the Hilton Meadowlands, Extended Stay America, the Residence Inn by Marriott and more. Prices for the hotels will, predictably, be increased in time for the World Cup as is the norm for any host city hosting World Cup games.

One can also find a different amount of cuisine restaurants to visit near the MetLife stadium as well. Some of the higher-rated restaurants include the Yard House, the Carpaccio, Redds Restaurants and House of Que.

Most of these establishments serve alcohol as well for the fans to enjoy before matches. Of course, to get the full experience, New York City is a wonderful tourist destination for fans to visit before or after matches. The Metlife stadium isn’t that far away from New York City at all, and fans can surely take some time out to visit iconic places like the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.