Inside Murphy’s $100M ask of business community for 2026 World Cup

Here are the first three things you need to know about Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal to raise at least $100 million in private funding to help pay for costs associated with hosting the World Cup — everything from security, promotion, transportation and more.

  1. The area raised approximately $100 million for the Super Bowl in 2014;
  2. Everyone involved in the process is confident the World Cup host committee will reach its goal;
  3. The ultimate need may be closer to $150 million.

Murphy on Monday, in his first public interview since MetLife Stadium was awarded the final Sunday, said the host committee would need to raise private funding to help pay for the logistics around the event.

On Tuesday, he told reporters that the ask will be at least $100 million.

“I’m highly confident we’ll get there,” he said.

The outreach already has begun, ROI-NJ has learned. Numerous companies already have been contacted.

Those close to the process said the fundraising effort certainly was boosted by the area being awarded the final, as it raises excitement around the event. The challenge is what the state can offer in return for funding.

FIFA controls the suites at MetLife Stadium for all eight games that will be played there — as well as the signage inside the stadium. And, while the host committee will have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets as part of the standard agreement, it’s unclear how many tickets that will be — and who ultimately will gain access to them.

Sources familiar with the fundraising (who asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter) said there will be numerous other opportunities for companies to benefit from donating to the effort, including signage connected to host committee structures and signage at fan zones (the expected fan activation sites in various New Jersey communities during the event).

There will be other branding scenarios around the state, too. For instance, the host committee, in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and FIFA, also is planning on installing approximately two dozen permanent soccer facilities across the state.

“There’s enough, still, elements to put together a pretty significant sponsorship package, for lack of a better phrase,” Murphy said.

The governor said the fact that New Jersey will host eight games over the duration of the tournament is significant and a differentiator from the Super Bowl the stadium hosted in 2014.

So is when the event is being held — from June 11 to July 19.

Those involved in the process note the one-day nature of the Super Bowl — in addition to the fact the same is held during winter. More games over a long time period will give those raising money for the World Cup far more to offer businesses.

And, keep in mind, the ask will be on both sides of the river.

How companies respond remains to be seen.

Initial estimates say the event will be worth an estimated $2 billion in economic activity — an incredible return on a $100 million-$150 million ask.

And, while the governor has proven to be persuasive, the fact remains that most businesses and corporations do not have that type of funding readily available. In most scenarios, some of the potential fundraising will be a shift from other donations, likely impacting other groups (nonprofits, etc.) who routinely receive funding from large companies.

Murphy, noting all of the above reasons, remains confident.

“I think that combination gets you a lot,” he said.