World Cup 2026: SoFi Stadium tries to get back into contention the final last minute

source: The Times, Daily Mail; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

World Cup 2026: SoFi Stadium tries to get back into contention the final last minute Two twists and turns. So much has happened since Tuesday when it seemed that the outcome of the race to host the World Cup final was already a foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, it has emerged that not only has the scales tipped the other way, but a third stadium is back in play.


What has changed?

Just a few days ago, we reported the news that had reverberated around the sporting world - AT&T Stadium was to move into the lead over MetLife Stadium in the race to host the 2026 World Cup final. The reason? The attractiveness of the venue itself, which is an architectural masterpiece, but also the possibility of easily increasing the capacity to 90,000 or even 100,000 seats.

This thesis is supported by the mysterious reaction of the Texas stadium's profile on X, which commented on FIFA's announcement of the date for the presentation of the chosen venue with a mere emoticon. Meanwhile, London's The Times reports surprising information, as according to their sources it would be the arena located in the suburbs of New York that now has a better chance.

AT&T Stadium© Grzegorz Kaliciak | AT&T Stadium

Strong candidate returns to the fray

Another shocking piece of information is the actions of Stan Kroenke, owner of SoFi Stadium, who, despite his initial refusal to adapt the facility to requirements and conflict with FIFA, reportedly submitted plans to the federation to redevelop the stadium. These changes would bring the facility closer to meeting the federation's requirements for hosting not only the championship itself, but also the final.

The Californian venue, which is the world's most expensive stadium, would have to change the width of the pitch by around 19 metres and increase the capacity, which, being 70,240 seats, is not enough for the final clash. Now, with FIFA's more compromising stance, this will be easier. The question is, will such late action make it possible to host the final?

It is possible that to wipe away the tears SoFi Stadium will host the quarter-final or semi-final matches, which is a positive development anyway, as according to many sources the venue was going to be excluded from the tournament altogether due to friction with FIFA.

SoFi Stadium© Troutfarm27 (CC BY-SA 4.0) | SoFi Stadium

Final touches before final decision

All three venues will have to prepare natural turf for the World Cup, as the NFL prefers artificial turf due to lower maintenance costs and wear and tear. The venue owners will have to find last-minute arguments to convince FIFA to grant them the honour of hosting the final. This is all assuming that the decision has not yet been made.

And in the final straight, the competition is getting fierce. The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, declared: We need to play the final here. Three venues remain in play and excitement and uncertainty will reign until the very end. On February 4, in a special broadcast, FIFA will announce the exact schedule of matches and a breakdown of the venues that will host them.

SoFi Stadium© Rich Fury | SoFi Stadium