Toronto just ranked among the worst stadiums in the 2026 FIFA World Cup
On Thursday it was announced that Toronto will be one of 16 host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026, and as the excitement begins to subside, the reality is starting to sink in: billions of eyes will be on the city and all its shortcomings.
BMO Field will expand to meet FIFA's minimum capacity requirements for the tournament, but these upgrades will be limited to the venue itself. They won't change the fact that the stadium sits in a windswept parking lot with poor pedestrian access, built on a site better suited for high-speed car racing than an afternoon stroll.
Unfortunately for Toronto, the urbanism-focused Twitter account Pushing The Needle ranked each of the 16 host venues on a scale from A+ to F- based on the walkability of surrounding areas. It may not touch on the venues themselves, but the ranking is a harsh critique of the urban environments in North American cities, and Toronto is not spared from the skewering.
here is my review of the 2026 FIFA world cup host stadiums & surround land use— Pushing The Needle (@pushtheneedle) June 18, 2022
lets start with New York / New Jersey
While it would be fair to assume that BMO Field's location within walking distance to the heart of Toronto would score it high on the scale, the stadium actually ranked unbelievably low.
It may be a quick walk from the city centre, but Pushing The Needle gave BMO Field a dismal F grading, describing Exhibition Place as "cut off on all sides in an unwalkable hellscape."
Just a bit harsh but I honestly have no rebuttal.
Toronto, Ontario— Pushing The Needle (@pushtheneedle) June 18, 2022
terrible. near downtown. cut off on all sides in an unwalkable hellscape.
It's truly upsetting to see cities like Dallas and Atlanta, known more for their seas of surface parking and city-destroying highways, getting higher urbanism marks than a city like Toronto.
The only other Canadian venue selected for the 2026 World Cup was BC Place in Vancouver, scoring an impressive A, with Pushing The Needle praising the stadium's location.
Okay, Vancouver. You win this round.
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