How Taylor Swift (yes, Taylor Swift) helped land N.J. the World Cup

There were a lot of people working overtime to make New York/New Jersey’s 2026 World Cup bid the ultimate choice to host the largest sporting event on the planet.

You can add Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, K-Pop and Taylor Swift to the list. Yes, Taylor Swift.

The Secaucus Meadowlands Transitway Project.

New Jersey Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett told a crowd of more than 150 business leaders Thursday that his agency’s experience the past few years moving people in and out of MetLife Stadium for megaconcerts proved it was ready to meet the challenges FIFA put in front of the region’s host committee for 2026.

Corbett talked about the lessons learned from the Super Bowl 10 years ago and getting people from the Meadowlands to the train lines in Secaucus. Event by event, the agency has been building toward this, from the concerts to the Army-Navy football game that had more than 80,000 fans at MetLife Stadium.

“The FIFA World Cup is just the cherry on top,” Corbett said. “Transportation was viewed as critical for FIFA, and reliable transit was a big part of being awarded this. We got the recognition from the decision-makers.”

Corbett delivered his remarks at the New Jersey Alliance for Action’s Inside Scoop series at Forsgate Country Club. He also shared for the first time a set of renderings for what is now known as the Secaucus Meadowlands Transitway Project.

The 7-mile route will transport fans directly from the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction to the Meadowlands via a dedicated bus lane. The renderings showed three perspectives of the proposed Meadowlands Bus Terminal.

“This is a moment in history. There’s no way the region wins this bid without the work of Kevin Corbett and his team at Transit,” said Jerry Keenan, president of the Alliance. “The transformation at NJ Transit these past few years is nothing short of phenomenal, and we will support NJ Transit in any way we can.”

The Alliance for Action is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. The nonpartisan organization has been a longtime leader in New Jersey, connecting business, labor, education and utility leaders, while advocating for environmentally friendly capital construction projects.