New Jersey Residents Nonplussed FIFA World Cup Final Coming to their State

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to the state of New Jersey and very few of its residents are aware of or care about the prospect. That’s according to a recent poll published by Monmouth University, which found that just a third of residents knew the state was hosting any games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup whatsoever, let alone the final.

In the South Jersey area, almost half (46%) of survey respondents had heard nothing about the eight fixtures scheduled to be hosted in New Jersey, including the final at the MetLife Stadium. It differs slightly to the North Jersey region, where two-fifths (41%) of respondents said they’d heard plenty about the tournament and New Jersey’s involvement. New York City, which is also mentioned in the hosting, has been more focused on court cases in the media in recent months than soccer.

Just 22% of all respondents said they were “very excited” about the prospect of part of the tournament being held here. Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, revealed that the “buzz” of the 2026 FIFA World Cup was being felt more strongly in the area where the games are being held. For instance, the people of South Jersey will be more interested in the fixtures in Philadelphia than East Rutherford.

At East Rutherford, it’s said that hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup matches at the MetLife Stadium will yield over $2 billion for the wider economy, while supporting more than 14,000 jobs.

Where else is staging games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Aside from the 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium, which is hosting the 2026 final, there are several other cities in America playing their part. Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field will be staging some games, along with stadiums in Kansas City, Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The monstrous ATandT Stadium in Dallas is also expected to be used for games, with the potential to expand the capacity of this stadium to an eye-watering 105,000.

Of course, the U.S. is also jointly hosting the tournament with near neighbors Mexico and Canada. The Estadio Azteca is an historic Mexican football stadium. It’s the biggest in Latin America and has hosted two FIFA World Cup finals in the past. Stadia in Monterrey and Guadalajara are also set to be used, with capacities in the 53,000-50,000 region.

As for Canada, there will be two main venues for Canadians to enjoy. The first in Vancouver at the 54,500-seater BC Place. Meanwhile Toronto’s BMO Field is set for expansion from its current 30,000 capacity to 45,736, especially for the finals. With global temperatures soaring in the last 12 months, it’s likely to be a hot, energy-sapping tournament.

Can any of the host nations run deep at the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

England are likely to be one of the main contenders for the 2026 World Cup. The Three Lions are currently priced at 100/30 favourites to win this summer’s Euro 2024 finals with Betway, a UK-licensed platform available to bet online across the major domestic and international football markets.

However, the USA could have a chance at running deep in the 2026 finals. At the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the USMT were dumped out of the competition in the last 16 by the Netherlands. Nevertheless, there was plenty of optimism surrounding the team, not least due to its average age. At 25.2 years, it was the second-youngest squad at the 2022 World Cup.

This means most of them will be on the cusp of their footballing prime in 2026. They’ll be in good shape to try and go further than any USA national team has ever achieved before. This would be a bigger sporting talking point stateside than Mike Tyson’s return to the ring or the clash between the PGA and LIV Golf. A quarter-final place would probably be the aim, going one better than their run on the Middle Eastern peninsula of Qatar.

As for Canada and Mexico, the Canadians lost all three of their group matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It was a dismal display from them, considering they qualified for the finals with such confidence. They’ll be desperate to show a different side to themselves on home soil.

Mexico couldn’t qualify from their group in 2022 either, but their Gold Cup triumph has lit the blue touch paper for the fans again. Under Jaime Lozano, there is a sense that the Mexicans will be a different beast performing in front of their own fans.