Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy have teamed up to try to lure some of the 2026 FIFA World Cup games to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ — and will learn Thursday whether they’ve succeeded.
“We are going to win the game for us. This is a perfect combination, and when you look at all of the locations that FIFA is looking at, we really represent the global approach to this,” said Adams on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday in a joint appearance with Murphy.
North America has already been selected as the site of the 2026 games.
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Twenty-two cities in the US, Canada and Mexico are now vying to be among those chosen for the match-ups. A total of around 16 cities are expected to be selected between the three countries, with the US garnering about 10 slots.
Other US cities pushing to be selected include Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami.
The international soccer association will announce the winners publicly around 5 p.m.
“The appetite [for the World Cup] is huge,” Murphy said. “As the mayor said, huge economic benefits to both New York City and New Jersey. This is a home run for us.”
New Jersey already hosted several 1994 World Cup games at MetLife, as well as a 1999 Women’s World Cup match.
A winning bid would be a boon for the Big Apple and neighboring New Jersey particularly as they continue their recovery from the pandemic shutdowns, which rocked the local hotel and restaurant industry.
When asked if fans should fear spiking metro-area crime rates, including a series of high-profile incidents, Adams said a safety plan is his top priority.
“Whenever you attract these large events to your municipalities, people want to know, will people be safe and are you going to ensure that those laws we pass won’t impact on that public safety?” Adams said.
“We have the best law-enforcement apparatus with the combination of the Jersey law-enforcement personnel … to keep people safe and move them about,” he claimed.
The mayor made a not-so-subtle jab at local prosecutors who favor soft-on-crime policies, hinting that their decisions impact public perception — as well as the economic recovery of the region.
“Every time we put together a package, we present how well we are going to protect those who come here, but it sends a message to all those who are part of the criminal-justice system that the actions that they take also will impact on the economy of our region,” Adams said.