Tim Howard says 2026 World Cup final ‘MUST’ be hosted at MetLife Stadium as he calls New York/New Jersey area ‘the greatest hotbed of football in North America’
- New York/New Jersey hopes to host World Cup final in 2026
- And Jersey boy Tim Howard is also campaigning for the area
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New Jersey native Tim Howard believes his home country is the obvious choice to host the 2026 World Cup final, saying on Thursday the game “must” be played at MetLife Stadium.
“Growing up here, playing in the streets of New Jersey and watching the World Cup in 1994 – the New York/New Jersey area is North America’s greatest home to football,” Howard said at the opening. of a Premier League mini-pitch in Kearny, New Jersey.
“And we’ve proven it time and time again. In terms of what New York/New Jersey means to the world, the fact that we can host the final – for me, that’s an absolute must.’
Howard, who played for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars before moving to the Premier League with Man United and Everton, is the latest in a growing chorus of personalities to defend the East Rutherford, New Jersey site, home to the match.
In May, New York Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy teamed up to campaign for the biggest football spectacle on the East Coast.
Tim Howard wants his home country to host the World Cup in 2026, at MetLife Stadium
New York Mayor Eric Adams (right) and Governor Murphy campaigned for the final in May
Joelinton (second from top from left), Bruno Guimares, Lewis Dunk and Bart Verbruggen were present
“The biggest stage in the world, there’s no place like New York/New Jersey, we’re going to bring the World Cup here,” Adams said in Times Square in Manhattan.
“I think we are going to have eight games. We have to have the final here.
Murphy added that eight home games for the NFL Giants and Jets would be like “eight Super Bowls.”
Of course, there will be competition to host the final, with Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium) and Dallas (AT&T Stadium) reportedly in contention.
SoFi, home of the NFL’s LA Rams, had previously been told it was too close by FIFA regulations.
And although the stadium was confirmed as one of 16 tournament host venues last year, it may not be able to host the final after expanding its width by as much as 63ft.
As noted by The Times, such an increase in width would bring SoFi down to a capacity of less than 70,000 people – far less than the minimum capacity of 80,000 people requested by FIFA for the finals.
This could put MetLife in the driver’s seat to host the game – a prospect Howard strongly hopes for.
New York and New Jersey have made no secret of their desire to host the World Cup final
‘When it comes to legacies, when I think of all the World Cup Finals – what we can do in the New York/New Jersey area, and leave a lasting legacy for the kids is something that is l one of the driving factors for me,” said Howard, who played in two World Cups for the United States.
“It’s something I personally believe in, it’s what I try to do to give back to my home country. And access to football, access to dreams is priceless.
Howard attended the event alongside Governor Murphy, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe and Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, as well as players from both sides including Lewis Dunk and
The pitch, at Washington Elementary School, was funded by the Premier League, partner EA Sports and the US Soccer Foundation.