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Vancouver will host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026

FIFA World Cup 2026 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to support the tourism sector, put the global spotlight on British Columbia and inspire the next generation of players. In 2022, approximately 1.5 billion people around the world watched the FIFA World Cup final.

Vancouver is one of 16 host cities across North America. The city is in the early stages of event planning, and the FIFA 2026 budget represents the city’s current estimates. The 2026 budget will continue to be refined as planning progresses, and the city will continue to work with the Province and other agencies to deliver the event cost-effectively.

Budget development

In March 2022, the Province estimated the total costs of planning, staging and hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026 matches at approximately $240 to $260 million. This included both the City and BC Place Stadium costs. The city’s expected costs were estimated at approximately half of this amount at that time, based on a very preliminary assessment of hosting requirements.

After further analysis of all hosting obligations including initial requirements set by FIFA, several site visits hosted and further operational planning, a more detailed development of the FIFA 2026 budget including recognition of a significant inflation outlook since March 2022, was completed. It was determined that the city’s incremental expenses associated with the FIFA World Cup in 2026 will be approximately $230 million. This includes the planning, staging and hosting of the Cup, but does not include the BC Place Stadium costs.

These estimates are subject to change as details are confirmed throughout the planning process, and further information is received from FIFA. The city and Province will be providing annual public reporting on actual expenditures and the new Additional Major Events MRDT revenues.

Obligations as a FIFA World Cup host city

In hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026, the City of Vancouver is obligated to deliver many services that are beyond normal operating city service levels. An overview of the categories of costs that are driving the city’s incremental expenses is included below, however, these initial estimates are subject to change as the planning progresses.

Obligation cost – $230 million

Safety and security – $73 million
Contingency, including inflation – $52 million
Venues – $40 million
FIFA Fan Festival – $20 million
Host City office, administration and volunteer services – $15 million
Host City decoration and brand protection obligations – $8 million
Traffic and stadium zone management and services – $14 million
Insurance – $8 million

Media Contacts

City of Vancouver

Civic Engagement and Communications
Existing provincial programs continue to fund community programs, events

A variety of significant and important events are supported by existing provincial programs aimed at encouraging vibrant communities, including the pre-existing Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT).

MRDT is available in more than 60 communities and continues to be a key funding mechanism to promote tourism marketing, programs and projects, as well as affordable housing priorities within designated community areas.

Through local governments and destination marketing organizations, the existing MRDT has supported:

  • BC Summer Games, including in Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Surrey, Kelowna, Kamloops, Cowichan and Trail
  • BC Winter Games, including in Kamloops, Penticton, Terrace, Kimberley, Port Alberni, Trail and Quesnel
  • World Cup Alpine skiing events at Rossland, Kimberley and Whistler
  • Richmond Olympic Oval improvements, including a redeveloped climbing wall that supported hosting of the North American Climbing Series
  • Vancouver’s tourism marketing and contributions to the Vancouver Convention Centre expansion
  • Various 2019 festivals in Vancouver, including Dine Out, International Film Festival, International Wine Festival and Writer’s Festival, and the 2019 BC Seafood Festival in Courtenay/Comox Valley
  • Sun Peaks Road connecting to Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway)
  • Kimberley’s convention centre marketing
  • Tofino’s wastewater treatment to help manage exponential tourism growth

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport has additional programs to assist communities and organizations with events of varying sizes within their jurisdictions. Through the Sport Hosting Program, the ministry helps fund national or international single-sport events with a focus on supporting Olympic and Paralympic sports.

Recent events have included:

  • 2021 FIBA Olympic Basketball Qualifier, Victoria
  • 2021 Skate Canada International (Figure Skating), Kelowna
  • 2022 Parasnowboard World Cup, Big White
  • 2022 World Junior Alpine Championships, Panorama
  • 2022 World Women’s Curling Championships, Prince George
  • 2022 Canada Cup of Wheelchair Rugby, Richmond
  • 2022 Billie Jean King Cup (Tennis), Vancouver

Through the BC Games Society, the ministry provides direct grants to help support the costs to communities of hosting BC Summer and Winter games. The Tourism Events Program, funded from 0.2 percentage points of the existing 3% MRDT, has helped fund:

  • Crankworx Whistler, a mountain-bike festival that invites elite athletes from around the globe and draws many spectators to Whistler
  • RBC GranFondo, a world-class cycling event that brings approximately 7,000 participants to cycle the Sea-to-Sky route
  • Viessmann Luge World Cup at Whistler, an international luge event that attracts athletes from more than 20 countries
  • HSBC Canada Sevens, a significant rugby event in Vancouver attracting both athletes and spectators from around the world
  • Surf Canada National Championships and Canadian Olympic Trials, for the selection of Canadian athletes for Tokyo 2020
  • Women Deliver 2019 Culture Night, which showcased B.C.’s culture and entertainment at the world's largest conference on gender
  • Sunfest Country Music Festival in Lake Cowichan, which attracted thousands of music fans from all over the world

In 2019, the Province provided $3.9 million in Tourism Events Program funding to 70 events, followed by $1.9 million in 2020 to support 28 events and festivals (a decrease from 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Details about the significant rebound of funding for 2022 are expected soon.

As part of the Province’s pandemic recovery strategy, the ministry created a BC Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery fund, and in 2021-22, $30 million in funding supported 681 events.

The Province continues to consider a range of applications to help build vibrant communities through existing provincial programs to support important events. Upcoming events in 2023 that have or will receive funding through the ministry include the HSBC Canada Rugby Sevens, the CP Women’s Golf Open, the BMO Vancouver Marathon and the RBC GranFondo Whistler.