New York Mayor Eric Adams is confident that his city will host the next World Cup final in 2026.
Thanks to its capacity to host the world’s biggest events, its hotel and communications structure and the assurance that the Met Life Stadium (in New Jersey, five miles from the metropolis) will not have a single empty seat at every game, Adams believes the city is the right choice.
“I can assure, and we can put it in writing, that every seat will be full for the World Cup matches,” Adams said in an interview with EFE.
His confidence comes after weeks of rumors that the venue for the final could be AT&T Stadium in Dallas or SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, both stadiums below the 82,500-seat capacity of New Jersey’s Met Life.
“We are the center not only of sports, but also of entertainment,” the mayor explains. “We host the best events and we do it well. We have a great hotel capacity, unprecedented, the best transportation network with the subway and with the bus system.
“This is the perfect place for the World Cup, and not only for some matches, but also for the final.”
For a country accustomed to hosting the Super Bowl every year, the most watched sporting spectacle of the year, the World Cup is a longer challenge. It’s a month-long tournament, and leads to more travel and unparalleled public attendance.
At the last World Cup in Qatar, the stadiums attracted more than 3.4 million fans in total at the stadiums, 1.85 million at the fan fest in Doha and the average attendance was 53,000 people per match. These figures will be easily surpassed in the United States, Mexico and Canada, where the stadiums are larger than those in Qatar.
This creates an added problem, security, which New York and New Jersey are already working on.
“Our security forces are trained and will be able to provide the necessary security, from a potential terrorist attack to ensuring that attendees and people who have nothing to do with the World Cup are safe. An example is the recent Beyonc and Taylor Swift concerts in large stadiums and how the public has been controlled,” Adams explained.
With the venues already chosen, but with no match allocation yet given by FIFA, New York/New Jersey is confident, in the governor’s words, of hosting “eight or nine matches,” considering it will be the first World Cup with 48 teams.
“It’s not that we think we’ll be able to sell every ticket for the final, it’s that we’ll sell every ticket for every game we’re given,” said Adams.
Prior to the World Cup, the United States will host next year’s Copa America. Although the venues haven’t been selected yet, Adams clarified that it is a “perfect” opportunity to prepare for the World Cup and confirmed that they have bid for the Met Life.