toronto fifa world cup 2026

Toronto likely to share Canada's matches with Vancouver at 2026 World Cup

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is a little under three years away, with Canadian fans getting the first-ever opportunity to watch their national team on home soil on the biggest stage.

And fans on opposite coasts won't have to fight over which cities get to see their national team in their own backyard.

In a meeting with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week, Canadian-born CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani spoke to the high likelihood of Canada playing World Cup matches in both Toronto and Vancouver at BMO Field and BC Place, a scheduling nugget that had not previously been widely reported.

"Obviously, you know, Canada will play in both cities, likely, how many [games each]? I don't know, that's something we need to look at," Montagliani told the board. "I don't see with our two whole cities, obviously, I don't see Vancouver getting less than five, but hopefully, we'll get more because there will be more games at the table."

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is the first-ever 48-team edition of the tournament, after having 32 teams compete in every edition from 1998-2022. Sixteen different cities across the United States, Mexico, and Canada are set to host games.

Initially, the tournament was set to have 16 groups of three teams each to play just two group stage games before the format was changed to 12 groups of four teams. The change expanded the tournament from 80 games to 104 games, with Montagliani seeming confident Canada could add more than their initial 10-game allocation.

"You're gonna have some big countries here. You know, which ones, I don't know," Montagliani added. "But you're gonna have some big countries that have real football tradition… it's almost a month that you're gonna have teams here, fans here. And so it's a tremendous opportunity."

The CONCACAF executive also touched on the existence of three-city scheduling "pods" between different cities that are geographically close to each other, though it wasn't clear if the pods were specifically referring to a way to divide up the different group stages or if the pods would extend to the knockout stages.

"The reality of the World Cup is that it is three countries, but it's more than 16 venues, all right, because a lot of the games will also be played in what we call pods, right? So Vancouver will be with Seattle, and likely San Francisco, in a pod. So those teams will be moving up and down," Montagliani said. "So it's not a US, Canada, per se. It's more of how the cities will connect, you know, Toronto will connect with New York and in Philly, and some of the southern cities will connect with Mexico. So, that makes it a lot more uniformed."

The tournament will be Canada's third-ever appearance at a men's World Cup, having previously competed in 1986 and 2022. While Alphonso Davies broke Canada's goal drought in a 4-1 loss to Croatia during last year's second group stage game, the country is still searching for its first result at the tournament, as they've lost all six games they've played so far.

Lead photo by

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

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