Vancouver will be another Canadian host city
Toronto burst into celebrations as FIFA announced host cities of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Thursday evening. Besides Toronto, Vancouver also figures in the list of 16 cities chosen for holding the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The mega soccer event will be organized jointly by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Since the 2026 event will feature 48 teams against 32 that will be participating in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, both Canada and Mexico will get to host 10 matches each while the remaining 60 matches will be held in the United States.
The cities chosen by the FIFA are Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Monterrey and Mexico City, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, Los Angeles and Guadalajara,Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New York/New Jersey.
The tournament, which will be the first-ever to be shared by three different countries. It will have its games hosted in 17 different venues across 16 cities. Twelve of venues are in the United States, two in Canada and three in Mexico.
As a host country, Canada will be an automatic qualifier and will thus get a chance to play its third FIFA World Cup. After playing in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, where it ended winless, Canada is now heading for Qatar to play its second World Cup after a gap of 36 years.
Canada won’t have to wait for long to play its third World Cup.
Initially, four Canadian cities were in the run to host the World Cup matches. But since Montreal did not get the required backing and support of the government, it dropped out of the race. Edmonton, the fourth Canadian city, however, could not make it to the final list of 16 cities.
It will be a big opportunity for Toronto and Vancouver to showcase their soccer skills and promote the sport in a big way.
Canada earned the qualification with a 4-0 win over Jamaica in its last but one match of the qualifier. Though it lost its last game to Panama by a solitary goal, it still finished ahead of the other CONCACAF nations to make it to Qatar.
The selection of Toronto means BMO Field will need to add an additional 10,000 seats in order to reach FIFA’s minimum of 40,000 for World Cup games.
Vancouver’s BC Place, which hosted the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, may need a few changes ahead of 2026. The 54,405-seat stadium offers an artificial turf surface, which is currently not approved for FIFA World Cup games. It will be replaced by natural grass in time for the FIFA World Cup 2026.