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Vancouver chosen to host FIFA World Cup in 2026 as part of North American bid

Vancouver will get five pre-games, but FIFA has yet to confirm the total number of games
Cheers broke out at B.C. Place on Thursday (June 16, 2022) as Vancouver was selected as a 2026 FIFA World Cup host city as part of a North American joint bid. (Cole Schisler/Black Press Media)

Vancouver has been selected as one of three sites – as part of a joint bid with the U.S. and Mexico – to jointly host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

It’s unclear how many games Vancouver will host at this time, however B.C. Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark, said there will be at least five pre-games held at B.C. Place.

While the total number of games remains unknown, the province anticipates the games will cost $260 million and expect a return of $1 billion on the investment.

“We see this as an investment for the future and it’s going to pay off,” Mark said.

“We’re going to do our best to share the wealth and get creative as possible to host the world and British Columbians who don’t live here in Vancouver to come here or to bring the games out to their community.”

READ MORE: B.C. vying for multiple international sports events to boost tourism

The province’s negotiators still need to hammer out the details with FIFA. Mark said she intends to be transparent with British Columbians about the negotiations and the final details when they become available.

Toronto was also announced as a host city, but Edmonton was not successful in its bid.

Sixty games are to be played in the U.S., including all from the quarterfinals on. Canada and Mexico are to host 10 games each. This will be the first World Cup with three co-hosts.

Chicago, Minneapolis and Arizona dropped out in March 2018 because of what city officials said were burdensome financial demands by FIFA. At the time, Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City; and Tampa, Florida, were cut.

FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, withdrew in April.

Montreal dropped out last August after the Quebec provincial government withdrew its support. It was replaced in April by Vancouver, which made an initial bid in 2017. However, Premier John Horgan said in March 2018 it had been rejected because it refused to comply with FIFA’s requirements that include tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law.

Vancouver will play host to the Invictus Games in 2025 at nearby Rogers Arena. The city is exploring a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics, which is led by Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wautuh First Nations. Mark said she was thrilled to “welcome the world” to B.C.

READ MORE: Vancouver replaces Montreal as proposed FIFA 2026 World Cup location

-With files from the Canadian Press


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