ReNew Jersey poll: Business community feels state will benefit (greatly) from World Cup

ReNew Jersey poll- Business community feels state will benefit (greatly) from World Cup

The 2026 World Cup still is more than two years away and the announcement that the state will get the final is 6 weeks old — but the excitement around the event remains high. That was evident during the unscientific and unofficial ROI-NJ poll at the ReNew Jersey Business Summit & Expo in Atlantic City Tuesday.

Nearly two of three surveyed (64%) selected the news that New Jersey got the final as the biggest story of 2024 — easily outdistancing the three other options: The proposed Corporate Transit Fund (18%), the court fight to end “the line” (12%) and first lady Tammy Murphy’s effort to earn a U.S. Senate seat (6%).

And, while being awarded the final (and seven other World Cup games) is good for exposure, having big sporting events does not necessarily guarantee a financial windfall. Those surveyed think it will.

Asked to rate how much the state will benefit, from 1 (not much) to 5 (a lot), 70% of respondents said either 4 or 5.

“If we do it right, this will be huge,” was a sentiment shared by many.

Interestingly, the response was not impacted by this fact: Many do not think their organization will personally profit.

When asked if their own business or organization will benefit, nearly half (48%) said, “not at all” — or 1 on the 1-to-5 scale.

Lauren Nathan LaRusso, the New Jersey head of the N.Y./N.J. Host Committee, told the crowd of approximately 900 that one of the committee’s main goals is to make sure the entire state benefits from the event.

A featured speaker in the “Investing in New Jersey” panel, Nathan LaRusso explained how the event is far more than a few matches — and impacts far more than just the Meadowlands area and New York City region.

“This is a unique thing for the state of New Jersey, actually, because Philadelphia also is hosting and it allows us from a statewide perspective, to really look at South Jersey, Central Jersey in a way for a mega-sporting event that has never been done before,” she said. “We are investing our efforts not only in North Jersey and in New York, but in Central and South Jersey, to really leverage this opportunity.”