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Revised price tag for Vancouver FIFA 2026 World Cup games expected soon | CBC News



It now seems certain the price tag for the FIFA 2026 men’s World Cup in Vancouver is going to be higher than was originally estimated.

By how much? That’s expected to be revealed in a “few weeks,” according to Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport.

“As soon as we are able to we will be releasing everything we are able to legally,” said Popham on Thursday.

One of 16 host cities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, Vancouver is set to stage seven of the 104 tournament games at B.C. Place Stadium starting in June of 2026, including two games featuring the Canadian team.

Seven games is two more than was expected when the cost of hosting was pegged at $230 million just over a year ago.

“We have a significant increase in opportunity, with that comes an increase in cost. So with seven games we have more security costs. So we have to redo some of the numbers from the initial estimates,” said Popham.

B.C. Place is owned and operated by the province and renovations are expected in advance of 2026, including bringing in a natural grass field which is a FIFA requirement for the men’s World Cup, but not the women’s.

Other costs will come from security, creating the required practice venues and fan fest activities.

The lack of clarity around how much taxpayers are on the hook for is not sitting well with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“Taxpayers have every right to know how much we’re paying to host seven soccer games,” said Carson Binda, B.C. director with the CFT. “The city and province must be transparent with taxpayers instead of hiding the details.” 

Binda said with other host cities like Toronto and Seattle having already released their contracts with FIFA to the public,  that Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim should “stop the secrecy,” and “release the unredacted contracts.”

In the absence of budgets, Sim and Popham have offered enthusiastic endorsements of the tournament. 

Sim told CBC he was “super pumped,” when FIFA gave Vancouver seven games. And last week in the legislature, Popham said that FIFA 2026 will be “the greatest celebration the province has ever seen.”

WATCH | Vancouver already preparing for 2026 World Cup, mayor says: 

Vancouver mayor ‘super pumped’ at news city will host 7 World Cup matches

Ken Sim said Vancouver has already begun preparations for the 2026 World Cup, with FIFA announcing Sunday that the city would host one more game than Toronto.

Toronto recently announced the estimated cost of hosting FIFA 2026 games at BMO Field had risen from $300 to $380 million. City staff said part of the increase was due to FIFA awarding Toronto a sixth match, instead of the five it was expecting. 

The B.C. government originally said no to FIFA’s overtures and were dropped from the host city short list in 2018.

Then-sport and tourism minister Lisa Beare said at the time that FIFA couldn’t clarify the cost to the province and that there were major uncertainties around FIFA’s demand to unilaterally change the stadium agreement at any point.

The province had a change of heart in 2021 and put itself back in the running, saying the tournament would help the hard-hit tourism sector rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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