Renovations begin at MetLife in East Rutherford to ready stadium for World Cup 

MetLife Stadium will play host for the 2026 World Cup, and, while that is two years out, in preparation for the event, Skanska announced it has started work on a project to renovate the lower bowl of MetLife Stadium.

The project scope includes enlarging the playing field to meet necessary FIFA requirements and enabling the stadium to host eight games throughout the tournament, including the final.

Skanska, a Swedish company, has its U.S. headquarters in New York and its New Jersey offices in Carteret and Parsippany.

To ensure existing stadium activity and team schedules can remain in place, construction will be completed in two phases. Phase I began this past January and is projected for completion in May. Phase II will begin in January 2025 and is projected to reach completion in May 2025.

“We are thrilled to continue building upon our longstanding partnership with MetLife Stadium and to play an integral role in ensuring the stadium is well-equipped to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup,” Sean Szatkowski, executive vice president, general manager, global construction firm Skanska USA Building, said. “Having begun our initial work at MetLife Stadium in 2010, this latest undertaking poses the unique and exciting challenge of making the necessary adjustments needed to meet FIFA requirements. And we now know, this will include the honor of helping prepare the stadium to host the FIFA World Cup final.”

The project scope includes the demolition of four corners of existing precast seating throughout the stadium and the installation of a new modular steel composite seating system with related comprehensive mechanical, electrical, audio visual and plumbing adjustments.

The project also includes the removal of 1,740 permanent seats to expand the field’s dimensions for FIFA World Cup 26 matches, and the replacement of those seats with the modular system, which will maintain current NFL seating quantities and layouts.

Skanska completed the 2.2 million-square-foot MetLife Stadium in 2010, which involved the construction of a technologically advanced open-air stadium with seats for 82,500 spectators, including 222 luxury suite boxes.

It was the first facility built specifically to accommodate two National Football League teams, the New York Giants and New York Jets. The stadium is also used for concerts and other entertainment and sports activities. Earlier this month, it hosted a weekend of NHL Stadium Series games.