Arlington’s AT&T Stadium was long believed to be the favorite to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final, but on Sunday it was overlooked in favor of the New York metropolitan area.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will host the final in two years of what will be the largest World Cup in history, with 104 matches played by 48 teams spread across three host countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada.
However, AT&T Stadium will host nine matches, the most in the tournament, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, including a semifinal.
Arlington will host group stage matches on June 14, 17, 22, 25 and 27. Two round of 32 matches and one round of 16 match will also head to AT&T Stadium.
The governing body announced on Sunday that the opening match of the tournament will be played 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 United States will begin its tournament the same day at SoFi Stadium outside Los Angeles.
The United States will play its second group match on June 18 in Seattle and its third on June 25 again in SoFi.
Miami will host the third place game.
Dan Hunt, president of the Dallas World Cup Organizing Committee, and Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, apparently did everything they could to convince FIFA that AT&T was the best place to play the World Cup final.
FIFA delegations 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 17.
Infantino had the opportunity to experience the Cowboys’ ability to host a major event with more than 90,000 fans in the seats.
MetLife has hosted major sporting events such as the 2014 Super Bowl, WrestleMania in 2013 and multiple international soccer matches such as Mexico’s friendly against Ecuador in 2010, which attracted 77,000 spectators.
The stadium is located in an area that concentrates a very diverse immigrant population from countries where football is part of their daily life.
Its connectivity with the rest of the world makes it an easily accessible place.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first organized 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. For Canada, it will be the first.
The 2026 World Cup will be the largest in history, expanding from 32 to 48 teams and from 64 to 104 matches taking place over almost six weeks, with the final match taking place on July 19, 2026.
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