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Venues for the 2026 World Cup knockout games and Final are confirmed

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fifa world cup 2026 final, knockout games, venues

New York, New York will play host to one of the biggest occasions of our lifetime, the 2026 FIFA World Cup Final.

MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has been selected as the venue for the pinnacle of sport in 2026, beating out some other hotshot NFL venues in both Dallas and Los Angeles.

Home to both the New York Giants and also neighbouring NFL team the New York Jets, MetLife caps out at 82,500 — and you can be sure the place will be packed.

It’s a venue not overly familiar with tense, sudden death matches in recent decades, given how starved New York football fans have been of success since the Giants last played in a Super Bowl, in 2011. The Jets own American sport’s longest Playoff drought, which now stretches 13 years.

But success – or there lack of – aside, the city is filled with passionate sports fans and, of course, the city itself is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world — a reality that no doubt worked in its favour with FIFA.

LA’s state-of-the-art ScoFi Stadium, which hosted the 2022 Super Bowl and 2023 WrestleMania, can consider itself unlucky. The picture-perfect venue, which consists of a sparkling, transparent roof overhead, has been handed a consolation prize, though; United States’ opening match. The tournament itself will launch at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. LA has, in fact, hosted two Women’s World Cup finals previously.

Canada is other co-host, of course, with the city of Toronto winning the right to host the Reds’ opening group match. That fixture’s at BMO Field.

Don’t forget that the 2026 tournament will mark an expansion to 48 nations competing in the finals stages; the three host nations will share a total of 104 matches. It comes as no surprise the United States has won the rights to host most of the major matches.

Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, which also recently played host to a Super Bowl in 2020, is the venue for the Third-place Playoff, while Dallas’ AT&T Stadium – endearingly known as ‘Jerry World’ – wins the honour of hosting the most tournament matches, having been one of the Final candidates.

16 cities across the United States, Mexico, and Canada will be propelled by World Cup fever, playing host to tournament matches.

FIFA, Club World Cup, Infantino
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino

MetLife Stadium to host the 2026 World Cup Final

The New Jersey venue was chosen ahead of LA’s ScoFi Stadium and AT&T Stadium in Texas — home of ‘America’s team’ the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones normally gets what he wants, too; ‘Jerry World’ was tipped to win the pitch.

MetLife Stadium transport

New York has promised construction of Transitway, linking Secaucus to MetLife, ensuring fans an unburdened pilgrimage to the stadium — something that has been an issue at various points in the past. Fans still recall lengthy delays when it played host to the 2014 Super Bowl; there have been other events more recently, too, where it’s been a problem.

MetLife Stadium surface – turf or grass?

The venue in New York is infamously artificial grass – known as turf – which is a problem. And while plenty of NFL matches are played on turf, that won’t be the case for the Final. As it’s done previously, it’ll be grass inside MetLife for the tournament decider.

It comes as turf fields in the United States continue to come under scrutiny, due to player welfare, most sharply in focus in the NFL. Future Hall of Fame quarterback lasted just four plays in his Jets debut last season, tearing his Achilles at MetLife in Week 1. But it remains unclear whether the venue will make a permanent transition to grass, or repeat what it’s done for other showpiece football events in the past.

Where are the Knockout Matches?

Here’s a breakdown of which cities and venues will host the Quarters, Semis and Final.

Quarter Finals

  • ScoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
  • Gillette Stadium, Boston
  • Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
  • Hard Rock Stadium, Miami

So on top of LA’s impressive facility, Gillette Stadium – home of the New England Patriots – will host a Quarter Final, along with the Chiefs’ Arrowhead – where we’ve seen Patrick Mahomes magic and Taylor Swift appearances fairly recently – and Miami Dolphins home field Hard Rock.

Semi Finals

  • AT&T Stadium, Dallas
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

So along with a Semi in Texas, the Atlanta Falcons’ home venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is afforded one of the tournament’s biggest games. Both of these venues are domes and are known as turf fields as well, meaning work will need to be done ahead of what’s set to be an enormous tournament.

Phil Prior
Phil Prior
Phil is the editorial lead at Only Sports, bringing more than 12 years of wide-ranging sports media experience to the team. But it’s his unrivalled passion that sets him apart. He also commentates AFL on SEN Radio, plus Rugby on Stan Sport. Find Phil on LinkedIn.

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