In a major announcement by FIFA, New York and New Jersey have secured the prestigious honor of hosting the final match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament.
While the decision has brought delight to the chosen cities, Dallas emerges as a significant player, set to host the highest number of games, including a crucial semifinal.
Dallas Secures Hosting Rights for 9 Matches, Including Semifinal
Dallas, recognized as the city with the most hosting privileges, is gearing up to welcome soccer enthusiasts from around the globe for a total of nine matches.
Dan Hunt, President of FC Dallas, expressed the city’s excitement, likening the impact to “nine Super Bowls in our backyard.”
Hunt expects significant economic benefits and heightened global visibility, stating, “It’s gonna do nothing but grow the global game, grow the game here, and grow our city to an even larger stature on a global basis.”
Economic Impact and Global Exposure
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is set to feature a total of 104 matches spanning 39 days, and according to a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the tournament is expected to generate between $90 and $480 million in net economic benefit for North American host cities.
During these matches, the global spotlight on Dallas is expected to significantly contribute to the city’s economic growth and international prominence.
Disappointment in Dallas Over Missing Out on the Finals
While Dallas celebrates its hosting rights, there is a palpable sense of disappointment over missing the opportunity to host the final match.
Emmitt Smith, a former Dallas Cowboys running back, voiced his sentiments, stating, “There is some disappointment here because I got to speak my mind. I cannot believe we lost to Jersey, but it happened.”
The final match is scheduled to take place in the New York and New Jersey region, alongside seven other matches.
Los Angeles to Host Eight Matches, Including Opening Game
Los Angeles, another contender for the final match, will be hosting a total of eight matches, with the opening game for the U.S. included in its lineup.
Adam Burke, CEO and President of L.A. Tourism, expressed the collective effort of the community in securing this opportunity, stating, “Today’s announcement was the culmination of a collective effort across our community to bring the Beautiful Game’s biggest global event back to L.A. – and we can’t wait!”
The Implications for U.S. Immigration and Travel
As the excitement builds for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, there’s a broader context to consider for international visitors.
The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) program, a crucial component of U.S. immigration and travel, is especially relevant.
Visitors planning to attend the tournament can benefit from the convenience of ESTA.
Understanding ESTA and Its Conveniences
ESTA, an automated system, determines the eligibility of visitors from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries for short stays in the United States without a visa, providing an efficient process.
Travelers can get authorization online before their flights, enhancing security and expediting entry upon arrival in the U.S.
Especially advantageous for citizens of VWP countries attending events like the 2026 FIFA World Cup, ESTA ensures a seamless entry process for those seeking short-term stays in the U.S., including attending sporting events.
ESTA and the 2026 FIFA World Cup
The connection to ESTA becomes pivotal as the U.S. prepares to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
With an expected high volume of international visitors, ESTA ensures a smooth and secure entry process, aligning with the U.S. government’s commitment to encouraging legitimate travel while maintaining stringent security measures.
As the tournament excitement builds, attendees need to navigate the U.S. immigration process efficiently.
ESTA stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment to welcoming global visitors seamlessly, making the 2026 FIFA World Cup not just a celebration of soccer but also a testament to the accessibility and efficiency of U.S. travel.