World Cup 2026: MetLife Stadium modernization underway

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

World Cup 2026: MetLife Stadium modernization underway Work has begun to prepare MetLife Stadium for the organization of the 2026 World Cup, particularly for the tournament final. The modernization has been divided into two phases. The first phase is already underway. What will be changed?


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Meeting requirements

The renovation of MetLife Stadium, scheduled for 2024 and 2025, is designed not to disrupt the stadium's operations. It will mainly focus on removing fixed seats in the lower corners of the stadium. The seats will be removed in two phases – one sideline each year – and replaced with lightweight, tiered seating sections made of composite steel that can be dismantled for soccer matches. All this is to maintain the current capacity for NFL events while also meeting FIFA's requirements for field dimensions during the 2026 World Cup. A total of 1,740 seats will be replaced.

Other important work includes installing the necessary infrastructure to support natural grass turf. This requires irrigation systems and backup water tanks in case of municipal water network failures, as well as vacuum and ventilation systems designed to pump water off the field during heavy rain or to heat the turf for growth on colder days.

For Americans, this is a significant undertaking, as their venues are typically equipped with artificial turf. The work is being assisted by the company STRI, which served as FIFA's turf advisor during the World Cup in Qatar.

MetLife Stadium© Schen Photography (cc: by)

Trusted contractors

Overseeing the renovation are the architectural firm EwingCole and the global construction-development contractor Skanska. Both entities were responsible for building MetLife Stadium in 2010. We are excited about the opportunity to continue our long-standing relationship with MetLife Stadium and play a key role in providing the necessary upgrades for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, said Sean Szatkowski, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Skanska USA for

The first phase of work began in January of this year and will conclude in May. The second part will be carried out during the same period in 2025. The New Jersey authorities received $30 million in public funds to plan the renovation project, although its final cost has not yet been fully determined.

In addition to hosting the 2026 World Cup final, MetLife will also host five group stage matches and two knockout stage matches. Recently, the venue hosted the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union National Hockey League Stadium Series.

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