Originally in ROI NJ, by Paul Cash, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
n just four years, the world will be focused on New Jersey as it co-hosts the 2026 World Cup. With 16 cities holding games across North America and an estimated 1.5 million global fans expected, we could see a minimum of 100,000 fans visiting our region. The event represents an unparalleled opportunity to showcase what the Garden State has to offer on the world stage. Fans from around the globe will be riding our public transit, eating at our restaurants and staying in our hotels. New Jersey’s elected officials, companies and hospitality groups will need to work together to ensure our infrastructure and accommodations meet the needs of an influx of visitors, all expecting a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Past World Cup host countries have faced pitfalls facilitating an event at this scale, like skyrocketing hotel prices and construction lags. Preparing our state for an event of this scale is a tall order and will pose significant challenges, especially to our already depleted hotel and lodging industry. Ahead of the 2026 World Cup, lawmakers and elected officials must utilize every tool in their toolkit to support the necessary hospitality industries.