The long wait is almost over for the Garden State and its Empire State neighbors as FIFA gets set to announce Thursday whether it accepted the New Jersey and New York joint bid to be a 2026 World Cup Host City.
In April, NJBIZ reported on the aggressive push being made to secure the bid as officials from both states awaited the FIFA decision.
FIFA officials have been conducting an exhaustive review of interested cities throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. New Jersey and New York are vying not only to be a Host City, but also to secure some of the tournament’s most prominent matches at MetLife Stadium.
“We are pitching like heck to get the men’s World Cup in 2026 in New Jersey and New York City,” said Murphy during his “Ask Gov Murphy” radio show. “It’s a joint bid between us and New York City. And we’ve got a real shot now. I’ll be stunned if MetLife [Stadium] doesn’t get a bunch of games.”
“We want to get one of the better packages, get the final, get the opening game, get a semi,” added Murphy.
New Jersey officials estimate it would create a half-billion-dollar economic impact for the state, but many details of the bid’s scope remain under wraps, clouding the full understanding just yet of how much New Jersey would benefit from the event. One thing is indisputable: The World Cup is among the most popular sporting events in the world and landing it would be a major coup for the Garden State.
“The economic impact to the region would be considerable – with early estimates by FIFA over $500 million, helping everyone from our local small businesses in urban and suburban areas to our hospitality industry across the state,” Christi Peace, a spokesperson for Murphy, told NJBIZ in April. “We hope to leverage the games to highlight all of the great aspects and beautiful places New Jersey and the region have to offer.”
On Thursday afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m., New Jersey and New York will hold a watch party event at Liberty State Park in Jersey City as they learn the fate of their joint bid during Fox’s live broadcast revealing the 2026 FIFA World Cup Host Cities.
The watch party will include the governor and his wife, First Lady Tammy Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with other business and government leaders, supporters of the area soccer teams and youth soccer players from both states.
The site is a fitting one as the Statue of Liberty and 2026’s 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution were featured in the joint bid.
“We got Robert De Niro to narrate our pitch video and a big chunk of it was Lady Liberty and the reminder that it was the 25oth Birthday of America,” said Murphy.
“With the Statue of Liberty standing tall in our harbor, New York welcomes the 2026 FIFA World Cup as an opportunity to show players and fans all we have to offer,” said N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“We want to remind folks that the birth of the nation is a big part of our pitch,” said Murphy.
On Thursday, we will learn if that sales pitch was enough to move FIFA officials.o