Vancouver pledges $5M to bring 2026 men's FIFA World Cup games to B.C. Place
Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto also expected to be in the running to host games in Canada
The City of Vancouver is putting up to $5 million toward a provincial bid to bring men's FIFA 2026 World Cup games to the city.
The announcement by Mayor Kennedy Stewart commits more than triple the $1.5 million the city spent hosting the women's FIFA 2015 World Cup games in Vancouver.
"We have a chance to welcome the world back to B.C. in 2026, and I want to do everything I can to make that happen," he said.
Stewart said the bid was a chance to support the province's hard hit tourism sector.
The announcement comes on the heels of Premier John Horgan reversing an earlier decision not to bid on 2026 games after Canada, the U.S. and Mexico won joint North American hosting rights for the tournament.
In 2018, B.C. tourism minister Lisa Beare said the bid committee was unable to clarify how much the province would be expected to contribute to the cost of hosting. Beare said the terms presented by the committee included FIFA being able to unilaterally change the stadium agreement at any point.
B.C. Place, where potential games will be played, is owned by the province.
Vancouver could host between three to five games if selected, according to earlier reports. Toronto and Edmonton are other potential host Canadian cities.
The 2026 tournament will bring together 48 nations, up from 32 in the men's 2022 Qatar World Cup, which starts in November.
Sixty of the total 80 matches in 2026 are expected to be played in the U.S., with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 each.
Canada's men's soccer team has only qualified once for the World Cup in 1986, but this year's squad looks to be a lock on earning a spot for Qatar. Team Canada can clinch a berth with a win over Costa Rica on March 24.