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World Cup 2026: Who plays at MetLife Stadium?

With New York and New Jersey selected as one of the many hosting cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, MetLife Stadium has been selected as a venue for the prestigious tournament.

But what makes the facility worthy of hosting a World Cup and which sports teams currently call the ground home? Let's take a look.

MetLife Stadium selected as a venue for 2026 World Cup

A general view of MetLife Stadium
Based in New Jersey, the MetLife Stadium has a capacity of 82,500. Photo by Icon Sport.

Who currently plays at MetLife Stadium?

Given that MetLife is situated within New Jersey, which is incredibly close to the city of New York, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that the two teams that share this stadium are New York-based. However, what may surprise you is that neither of the two are a football team – at least not in a European sense anyway.

The two sides are the New York Giants and the New York Jets – both of which are American Football teams. If you are new to American Football, it may be worth noting that both sides represent a different conference within the sport, with the Giants a member of the National Football Conference and the Jets a member of the American Football Conference.

A brief history of the MetLife Stadium

The MetLife Stadium was built to replace its predecessor the Giants Stadium and was opened in April 2010. Construction of the facility cost approximately £1.2 billion – making it the most expensive stadium in the whole of the United States upon completion.

Initially, the ground was not going to be shared, with the New York Jets in discussion regarding their own potential stadium located near Maddison Square Gardens. However, for a number of reasons, that project eventually fell through, and in its aftermath, the Jets and the Giants embarked on a joint venture, which saw them co-own the MetLife Stadium.

The ground is comprised of three bowls, each with different capacities. The Lower Bowl can seat 33,346, the Middle Bowl can seat 21, 323 while the Upper Bowl can hold 27,897. That gives the MetLife Stadium a total capacity of 82,500.

What makes MetLife Stadium worthy of hosting a World Cup?

A general view of the MetLife Stadium
The MetLife Stadium has hosted multiple major events, including the 2016 Copa America Final. Photo by Icon Sport

Technologically advanced

Aside from just its massive size – its capacity of 82,500 makes it considerably larger than Manchester United's Old Trafford – the MetLife Stadium is also incredibly modern.

In addition to a 360-degree ribbon board that circulates the stadium and state-of-the-art cash registers designed to greatly reduce the amount of time used per transaction, the ground also possesses four huge display boards in each corner of the stadium. These boards are 30 inches by 118 inches, and ensure that every spectator inside the ground has an excellent view of any highlights or replays that are shown.

Awards winning stadium

The MetLife Stadium has also been received incredibly well by critics throughout its 14-year lifespan.

Since it was opened in 2010, the facility has been named the ‘Highest Grossing Stadium of the Year' nine times by Billboard, as well as the ‘2017 Stadium of the Year' by Stadium Business.

It was also the first NFL stadium to receive Safety Act certification by the US Department of Homeland Security in 2013 and has won countless other security-based awards too.

A proven track record

Perhaps more important than those awards, however, is the fact that the ground already has a proven track record of successfully hosting multiple major events – in a variety of industries.

These events include the Super Bowl XLVIII, Wrestlemania on two separate occasions, a plethora of music concerts and the 2016 Copa America Final – contested between Argentina and Chile.

The success of the 2016 Copa America Final is of particular interest as it was of course the clearest indicator that the ground had the ability to transition from hosting American sports to successfully hosting worldwide sports such as football.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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