New York and New Jersey made no secret of their intention to provide the stage for soccer’s greatest spectacle, the FIFA World Cup final, Thursday, and where more fitting to stake a claim to the show than on Broadway?
The USA, Mexico and Canada took their preparations for their joint 2026 World Cup up a notch this week but New York already has its eyes on the main prize before the event has even begun.
The 2026 final was thrown into jeopardy in March when the former expected venue for soccer’s greatest showdown, the LA Rams’ SoFi Stadium, was told its field was too narrow by FIFA regulations, and would have to increase by as much as 63 feet during the tournament, reducing the capacity to less than 70,000.
But Los Angeles’s loss could be New York’s gain.
At least that’s what New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy were strongly angling at during the region’s Host City logo launch in Times Square Thursday.
New York and New Jersey made no secret of their intention to host the World Cup final
The region launched its logo for the USA, Mexico and Canada’s 2026 World Cup Thursday
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (R) and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (L) attended
Mayor Adams revealed the MetLife Stadium, located across the Hudson River in East Rutherford, NJ, and home to both of New York’s NFL teams, the Jets and the Giants, would host eight of the tournament’s 104 games. Or, as an enthusiastic Governor Murphy, branded them, ‘eight Super Bowls.’
But that seemingly isn’t enough for Lady Liberty as both Adams and Murphy staked a claim to FIFA’s showstopper.
‘The biggest stage on the globe, there’s no place like New York/New Jersey, we’re going to bring the World Cup here,’ Adams declared while addressing fans amid the hustle and bustle of the heart of Manhattan. ‘Eight games I believe we’re going to have. We need to have the final here.
‘New York is the greatest city in the world, so it’s only right that we’re hosting the biggest sporting event in the world,’ he later added.
‘With over 200 languages and dialects spoken here and every one of the 48 countries that will qualify for the World Cup represented right here in the five boroughs, our city and region represent the diversity of the world’s sport. New Yorkers can’t wait to welcome fans from across the globe to our city to experience our world class sights, bright lights, and our unique, diverse culture.’
Murphy boosted Adams’s bid, playing on New York and New Jersey’s soccer pedigree and claiming they will sell every ticket for their ‘Super Bowls.’
‘As the Mayor just said we think we’re going to host eight games,’ Murphy began. ‘That’s eight Super Bowls in six weeks. Just extraordinary and every single ticket will be sold out.
‘I also want to remind everyone, that this area didn’t just wake up to soccer. The first professional league was started right across the river in Kearny, New Jersey.’
New York and New Jersey unveiled its logo which predominantly features Lady Liberty green
Murphy also backed the United States and Mexico’s co-bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup
‘I have to admit, as a lifelong fan of “the beautiful game,” I’ve got soccer fever,’ the Governor added.
‘I want to give FIFA a big thank you for bringing the World Cup back to New Jersey and New York. From the very beginning, our region has been at the heart of American soccer. We’re ready for the world’s biggest event. Big events are in our blood, they’re in our DNA, and they’re what we do best.’
Murphy referenced the future impact of hosting the final in his pitch, while also putting his weight behind the United States and Mexico’s co-bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup .
‘It’s not just about the games, it’s about the legacy and the excitement that will build, especially among young people, not just going into 2026 but on for decades to come,’ he said.
‘We hosted games in the men’s World Cup in 1994, we hosted them in the Women’s World Cup in 1999 – wouldn’t mind doing the women again in 2027 by the way, that wouldn’t be a bad idea – but we’re incredibly honored to partner US Soccer foundation to make sure that the beautiful game gets into all quarters of our great society of the region.’
The pair were speaking at the ceremony to launch the region’s logo and brand as a Host City, opened by New-York-Giants-legend-turned-presenter Michael Strahan, who also backed the push for the MetLife to host the World Cup’s finale, claiming ‘there’s no better place.’
The event fully sold New York as the global stage fit for the world’s greatest players to dazzle on, nestled in the heart of the glitz and glam of the United States’ most famous metropolitan area.
The logo flashed up on the massive billboards of Times Square while the iconic New Year’s Eve ‘time ball’ displayed a countdown to ‘2026.’
The region’s logo flashed up on the massive billboards of Times Square Thursday morning
The iconic New Year’s Eve ‘time ball’ displayed a countdown to ‘2026’
Thursday evening, landmarks across the region – including Vessel at Hudson Yards, One Vanderbilt, Goethals Bridge and the Oculus – will light up Lady Liberty green.
‘Today’s launch is the culmination of an exciting collaboration between FIFA and the 16 Host Cities,’ Colin Smith, FIFA COO World Cup, said.
‘Months ago, we embarked on a creative journey together to ensure that the colors, cultures, people and places synonymous with each city were ingrained in every element of the city brand identities. We’re all thrilled to be able to reveal this unique artwork to the world along with our country and city partners and can’t wait to see them applied to channels and locations intended to excite and welcome fans for 26.’
Wednesday night, soccer’s governing body revealed the official logo of the USA, Mexico and Canada-hosted competition at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles in front of stars such as Brazilian legend Ronaldo, Brooklyn Beckham and Carli Lloyd.
FIFA had kept it simple, as the design featured a two stacked on top of a six in white and the World Cup trophy superimposed on them.
Each of the 16 host cities followed up the initial launch by unveiling their individualized versions of the official branding, embodying their culture, on Thursday.
FIFA unveiled this logo for the 2026 World Cup in the US, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday
Brooklyn Beckham, son of England icon David Beckham, was among the stars Wednesday
Ronaldo (L) was spotted on the red carpet with FIFA President Gianni Infantino (R)
New York and New Jersey played on the region’s most iconic monument, the Statue of Liberty, which sits in New York bay between the city and its neighboring state, changing the colors of the design to Lady Liberty green and navy.
New York and New Jersey also commissioned portraits included local heroes from the Newark Fire Department, youth soccer players from school-based programs, and fan groups from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn.
The other host cities include 10 in the United States in addition to New York and New Jersey: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.
Canadian fixtures will take place in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver, with the Mexican fixtures to be staged in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.