Toronto to be named host city for World Cup of Soccer in 2026
It's looking as though Toronto and Vancouver are among the 16 North American cities chosen to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
Sports journalist Irfaan Gaffar reported on Thursday that T.O. and Van would be the lone Canadian cities announced next week as host locales for the international soccer tournament, leaving Edmonton — thought to be a front runner — out of the picture entirely.
Should the FIFA announcement in New York on June 16 go as predicted, all ten of the matches set to take place in Canada (out of 80 total) will be played either at Toronto's BMO Field or BC Place in Vancouver.
"June 16th FIFA will be making its announcement of host cities for the 2026 World Cup. Sounds like the two Canadian cities will be Vancouver and Toronto. Edmonton is out," wrote Gaffar on Twitter late Thursday afternoon.
"Believe it came down to Edmonton and other American cities. Ultimately the decision was made to have a few more games in the US. Sucks for Canada and especially Edmonton."
This will be a big feather in Toronto's cap, if true — one the city has gone to great lengths for, but would also come at a considerable cost.
A City of Toronto report surfaced a few months ago revealed that it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to bring the 2026 FIFA Men's World Cup to the 416 as part of a winning joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States.
In Jan. 2018, Toronto councillors voted to endorse the city's participation, putting the city in the running among 22 others in a selection process.
"Overall, the operations and capital costs to be incurred locally in Toronto are projected to be approximately $290 million by 2026, including a 10 percent contingency," read the report, which seeks some $177 million in support from the federal and provincial governments.
The bill includes an up-front cost to the city of $73.8 million, plus an additional $20 million value-in-kind.
A total of 80 matches will be held in 2026 for the newly-expanded 48-country tournament.
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