Vancouver Back In Soccer’s 2026 World Cup Race

American, Canadian and Mexican Cities will soon learn if they landed a 2026 World Cup match.

Sometime in May, the governing body of international soccer, FIFA, will announce which American, Canadian and Mexican cities that it deems are good enough to host matches during the 2026 Men’s World Cup. Good enough means, how much money a local area is willing to pony up to satisfy FIFA. The United States, Canada and Mexico are hosting the global competition. East Rutherford, New Jersey and Inglewood, California more than likely didn’t have to put on much of a show to convince the money loving soccer group that New York and Los Angeles have the markets that have what it takes to host a game. Chicago and Las Vegas are out because local officials and business leaders decided the World Cup is too expensive a proposition for those areas. It is hard to imagine FIFA turning down Jerry Jones’s Arlington, Texas Cowboys stadium or Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s facility, Ross has an incentive to land the World Cup, he gets a big bonus from local government officials when he lands a big event because big events allegedly bring in tourists who spend money in an area. Initially the Canadian cities of Montréal and Vancouver were not on the FIFA’s list leaving just Toronto and Edmonton as Canadian contenders. But Vancouver officials have had a change of heart and Vancouver in the race for matches. Mexico will have matches in three cities.

FIFA conducted three fact-finding tours in 2021 to talk to a variety of stakeholders, including city and stadium authorities, as well as football clubs and other sports organizations, while covering key topics like venue management, infrastructure, sustainability and commercial, legal and legacy matters. Sports mega-events like the World Cup generally lose money even though sports organizations hire economists that claim there is a big financial boost for host cities.

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England’s Kalvin Phillips, left, and Declan Rice celebrate their side’s 2-1 win at the end of the Euro 2020 soccer championship semifinal match between England and Denmark at Wembley stadium in London, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Carl Recine, Pool)