Kirkos making pitch for MetLife Stadium, but says 2026 World Cup final spot has not been picked yet
06-13-2018 | ROI.com
| Tom Bergeron
The 2026 World Cup final at MetLife Stadium?
Jim Kirkos is hopeful. But the CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce
said any such announcement would be premature.
“I wish I could tell you, but it hasn’t been decided,” Kirkos told ROI-NJ on Wednesday morning, shortly after the announcement that a joint bid by the U.S., Canada and Mexico had been awarded the 2026 event.
“We would love to have it here, and my team will do whatever we can to assist (MetLife Stadium CEO) Ron (VanDeVeen) and his team to get it.
“But, as far as I know, it has not been decided, and probably won’t be for at least another month.”
Speculation has been rampant since the North American bid was named the 2026 host Wednesday morning.
And, while all three countries will host games, it is understood that the U.S. will host the most — and the most important — games.
Most consider Los Angeles (which hosted the final in 1994, the only other time the World Cup was here) and Dallas (due to the 100,000-seat capacity of AT&T Stadium and its central location) as the competition with MetLife Stadium, which seats 82,500.
Kirkos said he feels the area is the perfect landing spot for what is considered the biggest athletic contest in the world.
“There’s no place better in terms of the diversity and the crowd it would draw,” he said. “And we’re the biggest media market in the world, too.”
Kirkos said the stadium is hopeful it will get some preliminary games, a quarterfinal and then the final.
“That’s the goal,” he said.
Kirkos feels the draw of the entire region should come into play.
In addition to all that New York City offers, Kirkos said New Jersey will have some new options, too.
“By then, American Dream will be open — and, hopefully, we’ll have a new convention center, too.”