⚽ NJ hosting FIFA World Cup matches in 2026

🚧 MetLife Stadium sees biggest construction in 14 years

🏟 Seats are being removed to expand field

EAST RUTHERFORD — Some massive work has begun inside MetLife Stadium in order to make way for FIFA World Cup soccer action in 2026, according to project officials,

The globally-known company Skanska, which finished building the stadium in 2010, has begun renovations to the structure’s lower bowl, including taking out 1,740 permanent seats.

MetLife Stadium (via Skanska)
MetLife Stadium (via Skanska)

After getting rid of “four corners of existing, precast seating,” workers will install a new, modular steel composite seating system.

The movable seating will ensure the stadium can still meet National Football League stadium requirements when hosting both Giants and Jets NFL games, according to Skanska.

As part of its 2.2-million-square-foot layout, MetLife has room for 82,500 spectators, including 222 luxury suite boxes.

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MetLife Stadium for NHL Stadium Series February 18, 2024 (Al Bello/Getty Images)
MetLife Stadium for NHL Stadium Series February 18, 2024 (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Permanent seats needed to be moved to enlarge the playing field and meet FIFA soccer regulations.

The stadium has been approved to host eight games throughout the tournament, including the prestigious Final.

MetLife Stadium (Google Maps) World Cup 2026
MetLife Stadium (Google Maps)

Phase one of the demolition and construction started in January, with expected completion in May.

Phase two of construction is then expected to run from January 2025 through May 2025.

Work also includes related mechanical, electrical, audio visual and plumbing adjustments, according to Skanska.

MetLife Stadium was the first facility built specifically as home to two NFL teams — while also hosting other sports and entertainment events, including concerts.

The site also hosted the Super Bowl in 2014.

Skanska is one of the world's leading project development and construction groups, with Northeast regional offices in both Parsippany and Carteret.

With roots in Sweden more than 130 years ago, Skanska USA was created in 1971 with one job, the 63rd Street Subway line in New York City.

“We are thrilled to continue building upon our long-standing partnership with MetLife Stadium and to play an integral role in ensuring the stadium is well-equipped to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup,” Skanska USA Building Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sean Szatkowski said in a written release.

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