bmo field world cup 2026

Toronto hiring architect to expand BMO Field without allowing competitive bids

Toronto is moving forward with what could prove to be a controversial sole-source contract, electing to hire an architecture firm to oversee the expansion of BMO Field for the FIFA World Cup 2026 without engaging in a competitive bidding process.

Details of the deal were revealed in a June 26 City Council agenda item that will be considered by Toronto's Executive Committee on July 11. It comes almost exactly a year after Toronto was announced as a World Cup host city in a combined North American bid in late June 2022.

In this report, the City Manager, Chief Procurement Officer and the Executive Director, FIFA World Cup 2026 Toronto Secretariat recommend that council grant them authority to "enter into a non-competitive contract with Gensler Architecture & Design Canada Inc. for architectural services needed for the permanent and temporary upgrades at BMO Field for the FIFA World Cup 2026."

The architecture firm would be paid $4,168,561,70 excluding taxes ($4,241,928,39 net of HST recoveries) on the project, planned to bring an additional 17,756 seats to the stadium, bringing its total capacity up to 45,736.

The report explains the reasoning for entering into a sole-source contract, as opposed to a lowest-bidder model common for publicly-funded projects, is to "ensure efficiencies" in accomplishing the stadium's upgrades in the limited window available.

It states that "A non-competitive contract is necessary to immediately proceed with the capital project at BMO Field in order to meet the specific FWC26 Toronto event timelines as set by FIFA."

Regardless of whatever additional costs may be added through sole-sourcing the stadium upgrade bid, the City maintained as of June 2022 that it stands to generate $307 million on the World Cup at an investment cost of $290 million.

Sole-sourced contracts to expedite projects aren't unheard of in Toronto, and such a contract was awarded by the City (in fact, a much larger contract valued at around $40 million) just a few months earlier to speed up construction on a delay-plagued Adelaide Street West.

Lead photo by

BMO Field

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