Toronto is officially a host city for the World Cup of Soccer in 2026
It's official! Toronto has been chosen as one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
FIFA formally announced on Thursday evening that 16 cities will be hosting games. Vancouver is the other Canadian city selected.
The two cities will join Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles/SoFi Stadium, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York/New Jersey,Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.
Stellar line-up of #WorldCup 2026 Host Cities unveiled: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles/SoFi Stadium, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York/New Jersey,Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto & Vancouver! See you in 🇨🇦🇲🇽🇺🇸! pic.twitter.com/q5Q1SkUOTk— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 16, 2022
It's not known yet how many games will be played in each city but rumours are that Vancouver will get more games than Toronto.
"I'm hearing Vancouver will be awarded six matches as a host city for the 2026 World Cup," announced Sportsnet journalist Dan Riccio, who himself is based in B.C., on Twitter late Wednesday.
Local sports fans were disheartened, if not completely furious to hear the news (which again, for the record, has yet to be confirmed).
"I mean, it would be one of the worst decisions I have ever seen. Vancouver is a very small city in comparison and doesn't have the tourism that Toronto does," responded one. "They'll have to bring out the tarps for any non marquee games."
"Anyone that thinks that Vancouver getting 6 games is anything other than a missed opportunity for Canadian soccer is a fool," wrote another.
That's bull considering Toronto had literally been hard carrying the flag for canada all the way through.— Jordan S.C. 🇨🇦 (@SJordan1988) June 16, 2022
Many Vancouverites, of course, would be delighted to see their biggest national rival (for housing prices, at least), lose out to them on anything. Even if only one soccer match, which, to be fair, would generate millions of dollars for the local economy in either city.
"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 a Toronto City Council report tabled in 2018.
Councillors voted that year to endorse the city's participation in a joint North American bid, putting us in the running among 22 others, the majority of which are American (only Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton were serious contenders to host the 2026 World Cup in Canada.)
"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," reads a more recent report on the matter.
Both the federal and provincial governments are being asked to chip in two-thirds of the overall cost of hosting the tournament, amounting to an approximate total of $177 million.
This would leave the City of Toronto on the hook for more than $90 million to foot the cost of the games, roughly half of the $45 million figure floated back in 2018.
The bill includes an up-front cost to the city of $73.8 million, plus an additional $20 million value-in-kind, but could yeild incredibly returns if previous World Cup tourneys in other cities are any indication.
A total of 80 matches will be held in 2026 for the newly-expanded 48-country tournament, each expected to potentially draw more than a billion viewers each.
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