canada prepares for soccers 2026 world cup

While no new stadiums will be built in Vancouver or Toronto, multimillion-dollar renovations must be finished on a tight deadline.

This week we learned how many World Cup games will take place in Vancouver and Toronto, which will co-host the men’s soccer tournament with cities in the United States and Mexico in 2026.

BMO Field in Toronto will get additional seats.Chris Helgren/Reuters

As has been known from the beginning, Canada and Mexico will be sitting at the children’s table, hosting just 13 games each. The United States will have 78 games, including the final, which will take place at an 87,000-seat stadium in New Jersey — which the organizers describe as being in New York, presumably because the stadium normally hosts the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The tournament will begin in Mexico City on June 11.

[Read all the details from The Athletic: World Cup 2026: The biggest tournament yet and a New York final]

Vancouver will host seven matches, and Toronto will get six, including the first game involving Canada’s national team. The cost to both cities and the state of their stadium preparation are less clear.

Qatar, which hosted the 2022 tournament, built seven new stadiums.

Canada’s efforts will be far more modest. Vancouver will renovate B.C. Place for the second time since it replaced the facility’s failing inflatable roof with a retractable one in 2011 — a sprucing up that ran 149 million Canadian dollars over its 365 million-dollar budget. And Toronto is adding an unusually precise 15,736 temporary seats to the 30,000 seats now in place at BMO Field. (In 2021, Montreal dropped out of the bidding to be a host city after the provincial government declined to provide funding out of concern about potential cost overruns.)

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