A lot of big events have hit the Big Apple, but New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says there could be nothing bigger than the 2026 World Cup Final taking place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"It's gotta be No. 1," Gov. Murphy told ProSoccerTalk this week as New Jersey and NYC aim to beat other big American cities to host the final.
"Of the field of 48 teams -- and this is my guess -- we'll have plus or minus eight games in six weeks, and that's basically eight Super Bowls in 40 or 45 days and then if you were to add the final that would be the absolute pinnacle of events that have been hosted in this region."
Murphy's not just serving his people as New Jersey's governor but his own love for the game. He played growing up, as did his four kids, and his wife and he own National Women's Soccer League club Gotham FC. He cites Gotham stars Jenna Nighswonger and Midge Purce as his favorite players.
He says the tournament is causing a tidal wave for soccer in the U.S. for both men and women, and that hosting the final would be 'a huge step even further.'
Why should MetLife Stadium host the 2026 World Cup Final?
"You have to staple the stadium itself with the fact that NYC is our co-host, the media capital of the world," Murphy said. "It's one the most diverse regions in the world. We're open to our international brothers and sisters, open to immigration. If we have eight games, we'll sell every seat to every one of those games."
Murphy says the region's incredible diversity will set the table for a perfect final.
"You layer over that multi-cultural reality, across the board, with an enormous amount of passion for the sport. The potential is almost overwhelming on both sides of the Hudson. I don't think there's a more diverse region in the world. 9.3 million residents here, New York probably has something approaching that as well. That's 18-20 million people in a very concentrated state with huge passion for soccer and huge diversity and multi-culturalism."