CI NEWS SERVICE
The next step in the host city selection process for the 2026 World Cup took place this week. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) representatives met with the Canadian Soccer Association and representatives from Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.
The travelling FIFA group is holding similar workshops in Mexico City and Dallas around the Toronto visit.
The three candidate Canadian venues will be represented by city, tourism and stadium officials. The workshops will cover everything related to the competition, from accommodations and training sites to transportation.
The workshops will be followed by venue visits in the three countries later this year. FIFA will then evaluate the cities and make a recommendation likely in the first quarter of 2021.
The three venues under consideration are Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, Toronto’s BMO Field and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
FIFA has said it will make the ultimate decision on “up to 16” candidate cities from the list of 23 submitted by the North American joint bid. In addition to the three in Canada, there are three candidate cities in Mexico and 17 in the U.S.
The current bid blueprint calls for Canada and Mexico to host 10 games each with the U.S. hosting 60, including all games from the quarterfinals on. The bid group has been working under the premise of three cities each in Canada and Mexico and 10 in the U.S.
The U.S. candidate cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The Mexican cities are Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.
According to the United Bid committee, the stadiums involved have an average capacity of more than 68,000.
The committee lists capacity for the Canadian host city venues as 56,418 for Commonwealth Stadium, 55,822 for Olympic Stadium and 45,500 for BMO Field, which would require temporary seating to reach that number.
Canada failed in its lone previous bid to host the World Cup in 1986 after Colombia pulled out as host. Mexico eventually hosted the tournament, which remains the only World Cup the Canadian men have ever qualified for.