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Vancouver to Host Seven FIFA World Cup Games in 2026, Game-Changing Impact on the City

Credit: Rob Williams/Daily Hive


The culmination of footballing excellence is set to hit the stage in Vancouver in 2026, as the FIFA Men’s World Cup takes over North America and promises to captivate footballing fans from across the globe. 


On June 16, 2022, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the schedule for the next World Cup in 2026, allowing fans to plan when - and where - they can see the world’s best football players take the pitch and compete for the honour of being World Champions. The three host countries are set to be Canada, the United States and Mexico, two of which have previously hosted Men’s World Cups, with Canada set to make its hosting debut. 


This will be the first time in FIFA history that the World Cup will be held across three countries. Only the 2002 FIFA World Cup had more than one host, being split between Japan and South Korea. The U.S. will have 11 host cities: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, San Francisco/Bay area and Seattle. Mexico will have three host cities in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City, while Canada has two in Toronto and of course, Vancouver. 


Adding a distinctive touch to this global spectacle, Canada will contribute two cities to the lineup, notably, Vancouver. Situated on the stunning west coast, Vancouver is set to offer a unique backdrop to the tournament. Vancouver has hosted its fair share of national and global events, particularly the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 which saw the Great White North’s fellow counterpart, the United States, take home gold.


BC Place


Credit: Laurence Watt/CBC


Vancouver’s most notable sporting attraction is BC Place Stadium. With a capacity of 54,500 seats, BC Place offers a thrilling and electric atmosphere that will be packed to the brim throughout the World Cup. Canada has been allotted 13 games for the football tournament, seven of which will take place at the world-renowned BC Place. 


Vancouver will host five group stage matches, a round of 32 match and a round of 16 match. The opening match in Vancouver will take place on June 13, with the following group stage matches taking place on the 18th, 21st, 24th and 26th of June. The Round of 32 match will be played on July 2, while the Round of 16 match will be played on July 7. All of these matches will be played at BC Place.


The Mayor of Vancouver Ken Sim spoke on his excitement about Vancouver’s allotment of games in a press conference yesterday. Sim said he only expected to get five matches. 


“Make no mistake about it, this is going to be massive. We have seven games, we’re going to be on the world stage. People think that each game is equivalent to a Super Bowl and they’re completely mistaken.”


Sim touched on the average viewership of the Super Bowl stating it was around 115 million viewers worldwide. In comparison, Sim highlighted the average viewership of an opening-round World Cup game, around 350 million. 


“We are literally going to get the equivalent of 30 to 40 Super Bowls in the City of Vancouver over the course of a month,” Sim said. “It is going to be way bigger than the Olympics and it’s going to showcase Vancouver on a global stage.”


Vancouver Olympics


Credit: Greg Nikkel/SASK Today


Vancouver was lucky enough to be the host of the Winter Olympics in 2010, an international multi-sport event held from February 12 to 28, 2010. It was regarded by the Olympic committee to be the most successful Olympic games in history, in both attendance and coverage. Over 97% of the 1.54 million tickets were sold, with some of the events being the most watched sporting events in their respective categories in history. Specifically the gold medal final hockey game between Canada and the USA, which became the most-watched hockey event of all time with a viewership of 114 million viewers around the world. 


The Olympics managed to generate 1.05 billion Canadian dollars, while simultaneously injecting 600 million CAD into the Vancouver economy. 


The World Cup is one of, if not the biggest, international sporting events in history. The 2022 final between France and Argentina achieved a global reach of close to 1.5 billion viewers, while the entire event racked up a total of close to 5 billion viewers.


Vancouver is expected to see an additional 900 thousand visitors during the World Cup, while the City of Vancouver suggests the tournament could generate more than 1 billion dollars a year leading up to the games, and for five years after. 


In the heart of Vancouver, the countdown to the 2026 FIFA World Cup has not just begun; it has become a collective heartbeat filling the city and its inhabitants with excitement. The promise of economic growth, cultural enrichment and an unforgettable experience for the residents will leave an indelible mark on the Canadian city for hundreds of years to come. 


With Vancouver’s rich history of hosting major sporting events, they are not only ready to welcome the world through football but are poised to leave a lasting mark as a host city on this extraordinary celebration of sport and unity.


 


Edited By: Josh Reidelbach


 


 


 


 


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Tags: #Football #FIFA #WorldCup #BCPlace #WestCoast #Vancouver



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