Vancouver change of mind on 2026 FIFA event


Vancouver back in the race for hosting FIFA World Cup 2026 Image: Michael Elkan

Vancouver (Canada) is seemingly back in the reckoning vis-à-vis the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

The ‘Global News’ stated that three years after turning down the opportunity to be a potential Host City for the 2026 Men’s FIFA World Cup™, the Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, now says British Columbia is willing to consider it.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup™, the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the national teams of the Member-Associations of FIFA. The host countries are Canada, United States and Mexico.

United 2026 was a successful joint bid led by the United States Soccer Federation, together with the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The ‘Global News’ further stated that recently, officials in Montreal withdrew its bid to host, leaving Edmonton and Toronto as the only candidates.

Canada is set to host 10 games as part of a team of host countries, with the United States hosting 60 games and Mexico hosting 10.

Horgan told newsmen recently, “With Montreal stepping away, it creates a real opportunity for Vancouver being a Host City. I have had some preliminary discussions with the FIFA representatives here in Canada and we made it abundantly clear that if the proposal is as rich as it was back in 2018, we wouldn’t be interested. But I think that we are prepared to entertain those discussions and see where we go.”

In 2018, the province balked at a “step in” clause as a part of a host bid package. At the time, Horgan described it as a “blank check”, that would allow FIFA to unilaterally make changes to the bid at any time.

The province would also have been responsible for the costs of replacing the artificial turf with grass, security measures, parking changes, and operating the facility.

Added Horgan, “You will remember when the initial proposal was put before our Government we were just barely elected at that point. We were looking at the fiscal situation. We were making determinations about how best to go forward in a minority situation. It just didn’t seem to us at that time, there was other interest in Canada – Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and others – and so when we looked at the FIFA presentation it was a little rich for our blood and we chose to give it a pass.”

He continued, “But now, fast forward to 2021, we are in a completely different situation. We are coming out of a global pandemic. Our tourism sector has been buffeted, perhaps more than any other sector over the past 16 months, and the prospect of inviting the world to Vancouver in 2026 all of a sudden takes on a whole new meaning.”

If Vancouver does play host, the games would take place at BC Place, which is owned and operated by the provincial Government.

The 54,500-capacity BC Place is a multipurpose stadium located at the North side of False Creek, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is owned and operated by the BC Pavilion Corporation, a Crown corporation of the province.

When Canada hosted the Women’s FIFA World Cup™ in 2015, BC Place played host to the final.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior women’s national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s international governing body.

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