Toronto, Vancouver to be Canadian host cities for FIFA World Cup 2026

The World Cup is coming to Toronto and Vancouver — but Edmonton will have to watch from a distance.

At a star-studded and fittingly drawn-out ceremony in New York on Thursday evening, FIFA confirmed that just two Canadian cities have made the final cut as venues for the 2026 men’s World Cup which is being jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico.

BMO Field, the home of Toronto FC and Vancouver’s BC Place passed the tests of FIFA’s inspection team but both will now have to tackle upgrades in time for soccer’s grandest spectacle in four years’ time.

Much of the tension around Thursday’s announcement centered on which of the American cities would make the final cut but Edmonton missing out added drama from a Canadian perspective too. Montreal had withdrawn from consideration last summer to leave three in the final running.

The United bid which won the rights to host the 2026 tournament ahead of rival Morocco four years ago will mark the first time a World Cup has been hosted in three countries. It will also be the first tournament under FIFA’s expanded format which will see 48 teams, rather than 32, competing.

Using a slew of celebrities both A-list and further down the list, FIFA unveiled the host cities in separate geographic regions beginning in the west. That meant that Vancouver, a city that hosted the final of the 2015 women’s World Cup, was the first city unveiled for 2026. It was followed by Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, Los Angeles and Guadalajara.

With celebrities and prominent residents from each successful city toasting their selection, Michael Bublé was Vancouver’s representative, sitting at a piano decked out in an Alphonso Davies No.19 Canada shirt.

As the ceremony moved on to the central area, Edmonton’s flickering hopes were extinguished. Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta and Houston were the four US cities to make the cut in that region along with Monterrey and Mexico City.

Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium had hosted an instantly iconic occasion just this past winter when Canada’s men’s team defeated Mexico on a frigid night when the arena was instantly dubbed the Iceteca. FIFA’s evaluation team were in attendance for the occasion. However a number of conditions demanded by the Alberta provincial government during the bidding process are believed to have turned FIFA off.

As the announcement moved to the east, Toronto was the first confirmed host, a moment of real celebration for a city that missed out on the 2015 women’s World Cup due to hosting that summer’s Pan Am Games. BMO Field will require a significant jump in capacity in time for the world arriving on its doorstep with the 30,000 capacity likely to jump into the 45,000 range.

The men's World Cup of soccer will be coming to Toronto in 2026, FIFA confirmed on Thursday.

Joining Toronto in the eastern grouping were Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and New York/New Jersey.

“We are very proud of Canada’s candidate host cities for putting together substantial and compelling bids for the FIFA World Cup 2026,” Nick Bontis, Canada Soccer President said in a statement. “The competition for venue selection was the most robust in FIFA’s history. Today’s success is a testament to the cities, provinces, and federal government’s commitment and dedication in pursuit of hosting the most prestigious single sporting event in the world.

“We congratulate Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia, we also wish to express our sincere appreciation to Edmonton, Alberta for their historic support and desire to contribute to the growth and development of our sport in this country by hosting FIFA competitions.”


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