Robert Kraft revealed that Gillette Stadium will host ‘a minimal of six’ video games for 2026 World Cup


Boston can be one in every of 16 North American host cities for the World Cup. Kraft added that he would “wager that possibly we’ll get extra” of the 104 match video games.

2026 World Cup Boston logo
A view of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Boston host metropolis brand. Through 2026 FIFA World Cup Boston Host Metropolis Model

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to Gillette Stadium for “a minimal of six video games,” based on Robert Kraft.

The Revolution and Patriots proprietor was one in every of a number of notable audio system at Thursday’s World Cup Boston model unveiling occasion (dubbed “We Are Boston”), providing some particulars and ideas as he disregarded his ready remarks.

“I’m going to ditch them and simply ad-lib a bit right here,” Kraft stated of his speech.

Noting that he was proud to as soon as once more convey the worldwide match to New England — having already performed so for the 1994 World Cup — Kraft revealed that Foxborough-based Gillette Stadium will host no less than six video games (probably each group and knockout spherical stage video games).

“Am I not presupposed to say that?” Kraft joked, as the data had not beforehand been publicized.

“I wish to wager that possibly we’ll get extra,” he added. The 2026 version of the match would be the first to broaden the sector of groups to 48 (the 2022 Qatar World Cup was the final to make use of a 32-team format). The whole variety of video games will broaden from 64 to 104.

Different audio system on the occasion included Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, all of whom raised the constructive advantages they foresee for Boston and the native space on account of internet hosting.

“I’m glad FIFA expanded the sector to 48 so Italy can get again into the World Cup,” added Michlewitz, a North Finish native. It was a humorous reference to Italy — four-time winners of the match — failing to qualify for each the 2018 and 2022 editions.

The match continues to be greater than three years away, and the sector of groups gained’t be totally determined till late 2025 (after which the group draw can be held). The US, Mexico, and Canada obtain computerized qualification spots as co-hosts.

Provided that Gillette Stadium is outdoors of Boston, Revolution president Brian Bilello defined {that a} precedence within the buildup to the match can be assessing a possible improve in public transportation capability or choices for followers touring between the town and the stadium.

“We’ve checked out how we’re going to do this,” stated Bilello. “I feel the stability that we have now to know is how many individuals are going to be taking public transit, how many individuals have automobiles. There’s going to be a number of worldwide friends that we’re going to want to get to the stadium. We now have the rail line, which is nice, however we’re pondering by means of how do you do issues with shuttling and different methods of getting them to the stadium. So over the following couple of years that’s one factor we’ll work on. FIFA has a transportation individual, and we’ll have native folks engaged on that. It’s a key part of our World Cup.”

One other change that the match will create is the set up of pure grass, versus the present discipline turf. Gillette Stadium has used turf for the reason that choice was made to maneuver away from grass in 2006. FIFA, nonetheless, mandates that official World Cup video games be performed on pure grass.

When Gillette Stadium hosted video games for the 2016 Copa América Centenario (together with earlier worldwide soccer tournaments), grass was briefly put in, however Bilello famous that 2026 would require a extra thorough course of.

“For the World Cup, it’ll be extra of a everlasting grass set up,” he defined. “So when we have now [international] soccer occasions there, we form of put the grass down on the turf and play on it. The turf’s being fully ripped up [for the World Cup]. We’re constructing a discipline from the underside up. That is going to be a world-class grass pitch for the World Cup.”

Is there an opportunity that the grass — extensively seen as a safer and extra in style taking part in floor by each soccer and soccer gamers than discipline turf — may stay on a really everlasting foundation?

“We haven’t discovered but with Gillette what occurs afterwards,” stated Bilello. “I feel [the grass] will come out in some unspecified time in the future, whether or not that’s instantly, whether or not that’s after another occasions, arduous to say once we don’t know the complete schedule. However definitely for the World Cup it will likely be a top-notch grass discipline.”