Toronto, Vancouver among cities selected to host 2026 FIFA World Cup


VANCOUVER – World Cup games will be played in Vancouver and Toronto when Canada, the U.S. and Mexico co-host the men’s soccer tournament in 2026.

Edmonton was also considered but was not among the host cities announced by FIFA on Thursday.

Instead, the American cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New York/New Jersey, and Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico will get games in the expanded 48-game tournament.

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World Cup host status could net 174,000 visitors and 3,300 jobs for Toronto

Montreal dropped out of Canada’s bid last August after the Quebec provincial government withdrew its support, citing cost overruns that would have been difficult to justify to taxpayers.

Vancouver’s B.C. Place hosted nine games during the 2015 Women’s World Cup, including the final which drew more than 50,000 fans, and Toronto hosted the Pan American Games in 2019.

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Both B.C. Place and Toronto’s BMO Field will require upgrades ahead of the 2026 World Cup, with Vancouver set to install a grass playing surface and Toronto expected to expand the stadium’s capacity to the FIFA minimum of 40,000.

In a press release Thursday, the City of Toronto said the FIFA World Cup generates “significant economic, cultural and community benefits for host cities and countries and increases host cities’ profiles on the world stage.”

“The significant economic impact anticipated from the event will help sustain Toronto’s long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the hard-hit tourism, hospitality and entertainment sectors.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is “delighted that Toronto has been chosen as a host city for FIFA World Cup 2026.”

“There is no bigger sports tournament on the planet and it will be an opportunity to welcome the world and showcase all that our city has to offer to a global audience,” he said in a statement

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-with files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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