There was much fanfare and fireworks at BC Place Stadium when Vancouver was selected as one of 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup last week.
But now that the cheers have subsided and the giddy politicians have gone home, questions remain, including how many games will Vancouver have?
Canada has been allocated 10 in total, so with Toronto’s BMO Field also making the cut, a 50/50 split would seem reasonable.
But BC Place is a bigger stadium than BMO Field, with 15,000 more seats. More seats mean more ticket sales and more revenue, leading some to speculate that Vancouver could ultimately get six games to Toronto’s four. The official announcement will be made at a future date.
Here are some of the other questions we’ve tried to answer:
The price of hosting games in Vancouver is between $240 million and $260 million. Who pays?
According to the BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, the costs will be divided among the three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. The federal government could contribute up to 35 percent of the total price, in accordance with its own policy on the organization of international sporting events.
Negotiations on a multi-party agreement will take place in the coming months.
What was taken to determine the estimated cost?
The estimate includes operating and capital costs. Operating costs are things like staffing BC Place, running required training sites, and the “Fan Fest” scheduled for the Pacific National Exposition grounds. Also included are City of Vancouver costs for traffic management and security, including policing.
Capital costs include the installation of natural grass at BC Place Stadium and training sites, plus any other facility upgrades and the creation of the Fan Fest.
What are some of the unknowns that could influence the final price?
The ministry said the estimate includes contingencies for details that are still unknown, such as the number of matches, transportation requirements, traffic management, ambulance and health services, and public safety planning. An update is planned for the fall.
What do we know about the Fan Fest at the PNE?
This will be a live viewing site showing every game of the 80-game tournament, which runs from June 8 to July 3, 2026, in an expanded 48-team format. For the group stage, that means three games a day on the big screen.
Michelle Collens, senior manager at Vancouver Sport Hosting, said the PNE’s size and scope make it ideal for Fan Fest. She hopes other communities will jump on the World Cup bandwagon and host public viewing sites as well.
“I think one of the best things we did in 2010 [Olympic] Games is that we had a series of live celebrations across the province of British Columbia,” Collens said. “The more we can feel like we’re a part of this, the more energy it’s going to bring and the more lives it’s going to impact.”
What events related to the 2026 World Cup could come to Vancouver?
Collens said that as the next part of the bid process, Vancouver will bid to host the 2026 World Cup draw, scheduled for December 2025.
“As the host city, we would love the opportunity to showcase Vancouver as a destination for that giveaway. [and] host it at the Vancouver Convention Center against the backdrop of the North Shore Mountains,” he said. “We’re ready for that.”
In addition, FIFA will look to host a 2026 World Cup sponsorship summit and international broadcast hub for the tournament, and Canada Soccer has committed to hosting at least five international matches in Vancouver ahead of the tournament.
Why is it necessary to replace BC Place’s artificial grass with natural grass?
Natural grass, considered less prone to injury, is a FIFA requirement for World Cup matches and training venues.
According to Collens, soccer’s world governing body has turf specialists who will work across all 16 venues to ensure a level of consistency on the pitches. The cost of bringing natural grass has not yet been determined.
Where will the training sites be located?
FIFA has a 25-kilometre distance limit for locating training venues relative to player hotels, which will be in downtown Vancouver.
Collens said at least one of the training sites will be a Vancouver Parks Board facility. UBC is also a strong candidate. At least two training sites will be needed, possibly three.
Why do political leaders think hosting the 2026 World Cup games is a good idea?
One answer: tourism.
According to the province, hosting five or six World Cup games could generate more than $1 billion for British Columbia’s tourism industry over the five years surrounding the tournament, and could attract as many as 269,000 visitors, almost half from outside. from Canada or USA