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World Cup final to be held at NFL players’ least favourite stadium | Football | Sport

The venue for the 2026 World Cup final, MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, has been voted the ‘worst in the NFL’ by players. This could be an embarrassing mistake for FIFA as the stadium is set to host the showpiece event.

One of those games will be the final, arguably the biggest game in all of sports. MetLife, home to NFL teams the New York Jets and Giants, is based in New Jersey’s East Rutherford and can hold 82,500 fans.

In a poll conducted by The Athletic in November 2023, 18.4 per cent of players voted MetLife as their least favourite stadium to play in. Stars complained about the artificial turf and the atmosphere created by Giants and Jets fans. One player said: “Turf sucks and the whole place is lame,” while another added: “Fans are horrible. Everything about that place is horrible.”

Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson also expressed his dissatisfaction with the playing surface at MetLife. In October 2023 during a shock win over the Philadelphia Eagles, he expressed his unhappiness with MetLife’s playing surface, which was laid before the start of the 2023 season.

Following a trip to the medical tent, he was deemed okay to continue and suffered no further damage, but he is frustrated with how the turf impacted the players. “It’s garbage, man,” Wilson said after the upset win.

“You’re out there running and all of a sudden your legs aren’t in the same place your head is at. What’s the difference between (practice during) the week, and now? You look down, and you see the turf. Everyone’s got to play on it, everyone is trying to do what they can. I’m figuring it out.”

Just a month earlier, Aaron Rodgers had torn his Achilles on the same surface, just minutes into his Jets debut in September and missed the entire season as a result. Those who will play on the MetLife field at the 2026 World Cup will need to be wary of this, but New Jersey is ready to welcome fans from all over the world for the iconic tournament. 

“It will be a celebration of our diversity and our values,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a telephone interview. “The bigger picture is what leads up to it and what we leave behind for the decades to come.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams added: “This is the biggest stage you can be on on the globe and the diversity of all those in the city is going to really allow soccer to expand even further.”

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