Canada has been working diligently alongside Mexico and the United States in a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup across all three countries. Should the bid win, the United Bid would see ten matches be played in Canada divided between two or three cities. Vancouver was a front-runner as a potential host for the games, in fact, it is expected that Vancouver and Toronto would have been the natural choices. However, it looks like BC got some cold feet as they were asked to pledge a certain amount to the games by this week.
It appears that the BC government is concerned about the potential costs and the uncertainty of such. BC Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lisa Beare released a statement regarding BC’s involvement in the United Bid:
“While we support the prospect of hosting the World Cup, we cannot agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs.
“Throughout this process, we have been in regular contact with the bid committee and other levels of government to support this bid, while protecting taxpayers. Through these conversations and our submissions to the bid committee, we have made numerous attempts to clarify the risks and obligations faced by British Columbians.
“So far, the bid committee has rejected our requests to clarify how much British Columbians could be expected to contribute. And they have declined to negotiate with the province regarding the concerns we raised.
“Should the bid committee reconsider, our door remains open to bringing some of the 2026 World Cup games to Vancouver.”
Canada has never hosted the FIFA World Cup which is the world’s biggest sporting event. While the costs of hosting are unclear, the economic benefits are equally unpredictable