And then there were four.
Six Canadian cities submitted bids to become a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup last month, as part of the United Bid put forth by the United States, Mexico, and Canada. That list was narrowed on Wednesday.
Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal are the last four Canadian cities left in contention, with the bids from Ottawa and Regina being declined. BC Place, Commonwealth Stadium, BMO Field, and Olympic Stadium are the venues being looked at.
In total, 32 cities in North America are being considered to host World Cup games, with 25 coming from the United States, and three coming from Mexico.
The host city selection process takes into account a number of factors, including city profile, stadium and support facilities (ie. training sites, hotels), and services (ie. transportation).
“Having hosted every FIFA competition other than the FIFA World Cup, Canada has built a strong foundation across the country from which we can now draw on as a member of the United 2026 bid,” said Steven Reed, United 2026 board member and Canada Soccer president. “Canada has proven itself to be a soccer nation and we are confident Canadians will come together to show, once again, the wonderful Canadian hospitality that has helped make each of our previous FIFA tournaments successful.”
At least 12 venues – possibly more – will be used should the trio of North American countries win the bid for the tournament. Expect that 2-3 venues from Canada will be needed.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to include the expanded 48-team format. Eighty games will be played during the tournament, with 10 being promised to Canada and Mexico, respectively.
With the only competition coming from Morocco, the North American bid is the heavy favourite to land the sporting spectacle.
“The four Canadian cities, along with the 28 cities in Mexico and the United States, selected for the United 2026 Bid demonstrate the strength of a North American bid, with world-class facilities across three nations,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada bid director and Canada Soccer general secretary. “The response from Canadian cities has been impressive and we are looking forward to working with our partners across the country as we move through the bid process to ensure as many Canadian cities are involved as possible. Once again, Canadians have shown support for soccer in this country and the desire to welcome soccer fans from around the world.”
Canadians will be happy to know that a pair of cities close to their border are still in contention for games, in Seattle and Detroit.
Here are the cities remaining in contention to become a FIFA World Cup host city: