The 2026 World Cup is coming to Vancouver. Here’s what we know

There were bangs and fireworks at BC Place Stadium when Vancouver was selected as one of 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup last week.

But now that the cheers have died down and the giddy politicians have gone home, questions remain, including how many games will Vancouver get?

Canada were awarded 10 overall, so with Toronto’s BMO Field also making the cut, a 50/50 split seems reasonable.

But BC Place is a bigger stadium than BMO Field, with 15,000 more seats. More seats means more ticket sales and more revenue, leading some to speculate that Vancouver could ultimately win six games against Toronto’s four. The official announcement will be made at a later date.

Here are some of the other questions we tried to answer:

The price tag for hosting games in Vancouver is between $240 million and $260 million. Who pays?

According to the British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, the costs will be shared among the three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. The federal government could contribute up to 35% of the total price, in accordance with its own policy on hosting international sporting events.

Negotiations on a multi-party agreement will take place in the coming months.

What was used to determine the cost estimate?

The estimate includes both operating and capital costs. Operating costs are things like staffing BC Place, managing the required training sites, and the « Fan Fest », planned for the Pacific National Exhibition Grounds. Also included are the City of Vancouver’s costs for traffic management and security, including policing.

Capital costs include the installation of natural grass at BC Place stadium and practice sites, as well as any other facility upgrades and the creation of Fan Fest.

What are some of the unknowns that might factor into the final price?

The ministry said the estimate includes contingencies for details that remain unknown, such as the number of matches, transport requirements, traffic management, ambulance and health services and public safety planning. . An update is planned for the fall.

BC Place hosted nine matches of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the gold medal final. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

What do we know about the Fan Fest at the PNE?

It will be a live viewing site showing every match of the 80-match tournament, which runs from June 8 to July 3, 2026, with an expanded format of 48 teams. For the group stage, that means three games a day on the big screen.

Michelle Collens, senior manager of Vancouver Sport Hosting, said the size and scope of the PNE make it a good fit for Fan Fest. She hopes other communities will follow the World Cup bandwagon and also host public viewing sites.

« I think one of the best things we did in 2010 [Olympic] Games is that we had a number of live celebrations across the province of British Columbia,” Collens said. “The more we can all feel part of it, the more energy it will bring and the more lives we will have. it’s going to have an impact. »

What 2026 World Cup related events could take place in Vancouver?

Collens said in the next stage of the bidding process, Vancouver will come forward to host the 2026 World Cup draw, scheduled for December 2025.

“As the host city, we would like the opportunity to feature Vancouver as a destination for this draw [and] host it at the Vancouver Convention Center with the backdrop of the North Shore Mountains,” she said. “We are ready for this.

Additionally, FIFA will seek to host a 2026 World Cup sponsorship summit and the tournament’s international broadcast hub, and Canada Soccer has committed to hosting at least five international matches in Vancouver ahead of the tournament.

Why does BC Place’s synthetic turf need to be replaced with natural grass?

Natural grass, considered less likely to cause injury, is a FIFA requirement for World Cup matches and training venues.

According to Collens, football’s world governing body has turf specialists who will work across all 16 venues to ensure a level of consistency across the pitches. The cost of introducing natural grass has not yet been determined.

Where will the training sites be located?

FIFA has a distance limit of 25 kilometers for the location of training sites from player hotels, which will be in downtown Vancouver.

Collens said at least one of the training sites will be a Vancouver Park Board facility. UBC is also a strong candidate. At least two training sites will be required, possibly three.

Why do political leaders think hosting the 2026 World Cup matches is a good idea?

One answer: tourism.

According to the province, hosting five or six World Cup games could generate more than $1 billion for BC’s tourism sector over the five years surrounding the tournament and could attract up to 269,000 visitors, nearly half of them from outside Canada or the United States.

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