FIFA picks New York over Arlington as site of 2026 World Cup final

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The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced Sunday that MetLife Stadium has been selected as host for the 2026 World Cup final.

MetLife Stadium was selected over Arlington’s AT&T Stadium and Los Angeles’ SoFI Stadium, both considered top contenders.

It was rumored before the event that AT&T Stadium would be chosen to host the final and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross stated that despite the rumors he was never assured Dallas would receive the World Cup final at a press conference after the announcement.

“We knew that that was just a rumor there, we had no proof of any of that. So yeah, I mean, we all wanted the final game, instead we got nine of them and I’m, I’m happy with that in a second, So I think the world will see what North Texas is made of,” said Ross.

Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith expressed dismay that Dallas wasn’t chosen.

“There is some disappointment here because, I gotta speak my mind, cannot believe we lost to Jersey but it happened,” said Smith, “This region deserved to have something on a major massive global stage like this. So kudos to all mayors and everyone else that have put in a tremendous amount of effort and resources to make this city and this region suitable for an event like this... It’s not because we don’t have quality sports or quality fields or quality infrastructure, we have all those things and maybe, maybe we get it on the next go-round.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that perception played a big role in New York being awarded the final.

“See, the competition was dealing with the perception of a coastal [city], a New York or a Los Angeles. If this were totally being played to just America and the United States that wouldn’t have been such a formidable thing to overcome, but internationally that’s formidable to overcome,” said Jones, “This team came that close to overcoming it.”

Mayor Ross denied that Arlington’s lack of public transportation played a role in the city not getting the World Cup final.

“We have public transportation, let me tell you if you’ve ever been to a cowboy game, if you’ve been to a Rangers game, if you’ve been to the World Series parade where we had 750,000 people come into the city, they moved in and out just fine. We have a ride-share program that gets people around just fine, but just because we don’t assign ourselves to a particular transit authority at this particular moment,” said Ross, “This is the type of thing that Arlington was born and raised to do. We do this all the time...our traffic management people are second to none and if you’ve ever experienced coming in and out of here, we get people in and out as good, if not better than any other city in the country.”

Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president, made the announcement during a live television broadcast on FOX on Sunday.

This will be the second time the United States has hosted the World Cup. When the U.S. hosted 1994 World Cup, the Cotton Bowl hosted matches..

Unlike 1994, the 2026 World Cup will not be solely hosted by the United States. Mexico and Canada will also host matches. This will be the third time Mexico has hosted the World Cup, the first time for Canada.

The opening match will be played on June 11, 2026, in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium. Matches will also be held in Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Canada’s first match will be in Toronto on June 12, 2026. Vancouver and Toronto will each host five matches.

The United States will be played in Los Angeles on June 12, 2026. Other matches will be played in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Vancouver, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.

For the first time, FIFA is expanding the World Cup to 48 competing countries and the tournament will feature 104 matches in total.

Qatar hosted the World Cup in 2022 when Argentina and Lionel Messi triumphed over Kylian Mbappé and France in the final.

In 2022, the United States reached the knockout round for the first time since the 2014 World Cup and has hopes of making it further in 2026.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.