BOSTON — Getting the chance to host seven games at the 2026 World Cup is better than expected and provides a much-needed shot in the arm for the city's economy, Boston officials said Monday.
FIFA made the announcement on Sunday, reassigning the opening game of the 39-day tournament to Mexico City's Estadio Azteca and the finale to the home of the NFL's New York Jets and Giants. The seven games to be played at Gillette Stadium in the Boston suburb of Foxborough include five group stage games, one round of 32 game and one quarterfinal game on July 9, 2026.
Boston Soccer26 President Mike Roynd confirmed that organizers had planned for five or six games without a quarterfinal, and said the final schedule meant there was “significant economic benefit.” Admitted.
“The later on in the tournament, the more attention there is,” he said. “For us, it's just a matter of excitement. … It's a perfect schedule for us. I don't think FIFA could have done a better job.”
Martha Sheridan, president and CEO of Meet Boston, said there is “nothing like it” for hosting a World Cup match. Although Foxboro hosted games during the 1994 World Cup, Gillette Stadium was a separate venue and was built near the old Foxboro Stadium. Foxboro also hosted matches in the 1999 and 2003 Women's World Cups.
Sheridan said a FIFA study predicted that World Cup host cities would generate $400 million in spending, a figure that would have to be adjusted because the city would host seven games. He added that it would be.
“Our goal over the last four to five years since COVID-19 devastated us was to really re-establish Boston as a leading global destination,” Sheridan told reporters. .
“We are well on our way towards that goal and this event will solidify our reputation because we know we will do a great job,” she said. . “People will be able to share in the revival and renaissance of this great city. We can't wait.”
Sheridan said the city would also benefit from the fact that games would also be held in Philadelphia and New Jersey, allowing fans to travel by train to different venues.
“Given the fact that people can come to Boston, stay in a hotel for maybe an entire month, and travel back and forth to New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey on Amtrak to watch games, that's a huge deal for us. ',' she said.
Brian Bilello, president of the New England Revolution and chairman of Boston Soccer26, said the tournament will also be a boon for soccer in the region.
“This solidifies our place in the world game in the United States,” Bilello said. “This solidifies Boston and Massachusetts as one of the country's key soccer hotbeds.”
FIFA has announced that the number of countries participating in the World Cup will be expanded from 32 to 48, the number of matches will be increased from 64 to 104, and the number of host countries will be 16 in 2022. The addition of teams will increase the duration of the competition from 29 days under the shortened 2022 schedule in Qatar. There are 32 days until the 2018 Russia Games.
78 of the 104 games will be played in the United States, with 13 games each in Mexico and Canada, for a maximum of six games per day.
The U.S. team will practice in suburban Atlanta ahead of the tournament, which will open on June 12, 2026 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The U.S. team will play at Seattle's Lumen Field seven days later and conclude the group stage at SoFi on June 25.
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