The 2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to North America and eleven of the host cities are in the United States for the highly anticipated tournament. The World Cup has not been hosted in the United States since 1994 so American Soccer fans have been waiting decades to see the World Cup played here.

For FIFA fans who live in New Jersey, they will have multiple opportunities to watch the World Cup in person in 2026.  There will be Group Stage and Round of 16 Matches played in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.  Also, fans can watch the Round of 32 and Round of 16 along with Group Stage Games at Metlife Stadium in Northern New Jersey.

When FIFA announced that the 2026 World Cup Finals would be hosted in Northern New Jersey, some people were surprised.  There are cities such as Dallas and Los Angeles that have impressive dome stadiums.  Also cities like Seattle and Kansas City have passionate MLS fanbases.  But there may be another reason aside from New Jersey's proximity to major cities for why it was chosen to host the final game of the prestigious World Cup.

Studies show that New Jersey residents are very interested in Soccer
Photo by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

Analysts from the website SoccerExpertise gathered information from the United States Census Bureau Population Statistics and Google Search Data to find out which states are most interested in Soccer.  Their research found that New Jersey has the most Soccer Interest per Capita of any state in the USA.

Despite the reality that states such as California, Florida, and Texas have larger Populations, New Jersey residents are showing an extremely high level of interest in the game of soccer at a higher rate than any other state.  Combining that reality with New York being seventh on the list, it makes sense that FIFA would choose Metflife Stadium to host the 2026 World Cup Finals.

Photo by Fancy Crave on Unsplash
Photo by Fancy Crave on Unsplash

Here is Soccer Expertise Top Ten Rankings of States by Interest in Soccer per 100,000 Residents:

1. New Jersey
2. California
3. Florida
4. Maryland
5. Texas
6. Massachusetts
7. New York
8. Virginia
9. Illinois
10. Connecticut

Top 21 fastest growing towns in New Jersey

These 21 municipalities in New Jersey have seen their populations grow the most over the past decade. The figures are based on U.S. Census American Community Survey 5-year estimates for 2012 and 2022.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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