The World Cup Comes to New Jersey: Optimism and Expectations for the 2026 Tournament

New Jersey Poll: Business Community Optimistic about State’s Potential World Cup Benefits

The World Cup Comes to New Jersey: Optimism and Expectations for the 2026 Tournament

The excitement surrounding the 2026 World Cup being held in New Jersey is still high, despite the event being more than two years away. The state was announced as the host of the final match six weeks ago and was a topic of discussion at the ReNew Jersey Business Summit & Expo in Atlantic City. An unscientific poll conducted during the event showed that nearly two-thirds of respondents view this news as the most significant story of 2024, surpassing other options such as the proposed Corporate Transit Fund and the first lady’s effort to earn a U.S. Senate seat.

While hosting such a major sporting event can bring exposure to the state, it does not necessarily guarantee a significant financial gain. Despite this, many survey respondents believe that New Jersey will benefit greatly from hosting the World Cup. Many expressed optimism about the potential economic impact of the event and emphasized the importance of doing it right to maximize the benefits.

Interestingly, despite the optimism about the state benefiting from the World Cup, many respondents do not believe that their own businesses or organizations will personally profit from the event. Nearly half of those surveyed indicated that they do not expect their organizations to benefit from the World Cup on a personal level.

Lauren LaRusso, head of NY/NJ Host Committee for New Jersey, emphasized that their goal is to ensure that every region in New Jersey benefits from this global event. She stated that this is not just about a few matches but has a broader impact beyond Meadowlands area and New York City region. LaRusso highlighted how hosting such an event presents an opportunity to showcase South Jersey, Central Jersey and other regions in New jersey on a global stage which could lead to investment and development in areas previously overlooked for mega-sporting events

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