Long believed to be a front-runner to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals, Arlington’s AT&T Stadium passed Sunday in favor of the New York metro area.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. will host the finals in two years, the largest World Cup in history, with 104 matches played by 48 teams spread across three host countries, the United States, Mexico and Canada.
AT&T Stadium, however, will host nine matches, the most in the tournament, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s semi-final.
Arlington will host playoffs on June 14, June 17, June 22, June 25 and June 27. Two rounds of 32 matches and a round of 16 match will head to AT&T Stadium.
The governing body announced on Sunday that the opening match of the tournament will be held on June 11, 2026 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Canada will play its first game on June 12, 2026 at BMO Field in Toronto, and the U.S. will open the tournament the same day at Sophie Stadium outside Los Angeles.
The US will play its second group game on June 18 in Seattle and third again on June 25 in Sofia.
Miami hosts the third-place game.
Dallas World Cup Organizing Committee President Dan Hunt and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appear to have done their best to convince FIFA that AT&T is the best place to host the World Cup Finals.
FIFA delegations have visited North Texas several times to tour the area and FIFA President Gianni Infantino was Jones’ guest at the Cowboys-NY Jets game on September 17th.
Infantino had the opportunity to experience the Cowboys’ ability to put on a big event with over 90,000 fans in the stands.
MetLife has been the site of major sporting events such as the 2014 Super Bowl, WrestleMania in 2013 and Mexico’s 2010 friendly against Ecuador that drew 77,000 spectators.
The stadium is located in an area that gathers a very diverse population of immigrants from countries where football is part of their daily lives.
Its connection to the rest of the world makes it easily accessible.
In the year The 2026 World Cup will be the first to be hosted by three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Mexico hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cups. The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. It will be a first for Canada.
The 2026 World Cup will be the biggest in history, with 32 to 48 teams and 64 to 104 matches played over a six-week period, with the final scheduled for July 19, 2026.
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