Alberta government won't support Edmonton's 2026 FIFA World Cup bid

Mar 16 2018, 10:31 pm

British Columbia isn’t the only province in Canada to say no to FIFA, as the North American bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup was officially submitted on Friday.

The province of Alberta won’t be committing dollars to the global event either, though unlike Vancouver, this won’t be a deathblow to Edmonton’s hopes of hosting matches.

While BC Place in Vancouver is run by the provincial government, Commonwealth Stadium is owned by the City of Edmonton.

The Government of Canada has committed $5 million for a successful bid, but Alberta is taking a similar stance to their neighbours in BC.

“If nothing significantly changes and the city does proceed, it will be without an expectation that the province will contribute to host city costs,” said Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda in a statement.

“This is going to force organizations like FIFA and IOC (International Olympic Committee) to change they way they engage local governments. FIFA is so used to having cities and regions scrambling for the opportunity to host games that they have been accustomed to get whatever they want.”

“While we support the prospect of hosting the World Cup, we cannot agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs,” said Lisa Beare, BC’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Chicago and Minneapolis also pulled themselves out of contention this week, citing similar concerns to the BC and Alberta governments.

Twenty-three cities in North America have been added to the shortlist for the 2026 event, including three in Canada. Two or three of Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal will be chosen to split 10 matches being played north of the border should the United Bid successfully win the right to host.

FIFA will decide between North America and Morocco in June, with host cities expected to be chosen in 2020.

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