April 22nd, 2024

More games means Vancouver unsure of hosting costs for 2026 FIFA World Cup

By The Canadian Press on March 5, 2024.

Youth soccer players kick a ball around on the field at B.C. Place stadium during a gathering to watch Vancouver be chosen as one of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, in Vancouver, on Thursday, June 16, 2022.The city of Vancouver says it's unable to give a complete estimate of costs associated with hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup matches, due to hosting two more games than originally anticipated.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver says it’s unable to give a complete estimate of costs associated with hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup matches because it is hosting two more games than originally anticipated.

The original cost, released by the provincial government at the end of January 2023, pegged the bill for hosting five World Cup matches as $230 million, with much of that money going towards event security.

But with the addition of hosting two more games, the city says the original estimate is out of date.

The city says it is discussing the additional games with FIFA – the international body governing soccer – to determine anticipated costs and benefits, with no set date for the information to be released.

The estimate does not include renovating B.C. Place, with PavCo – the Crown corporation that owns the stadium – putting out a request for proposal in December for a construction manager to oversee work needed.

PavCo’s RFP for a construction manager indicates B.C. Place, which turned 40 last year, will need more VIP suites and hospitality space on the stadium’s third level, an upgrade to food-court concessions, renovation of washrooms and installation of more elevators.

In a statement, the city of Vancouver said the additional games are expected to bring more revenue.

“We will be assessing the impacts of delivering seven matches against current assumptions in order to update these estimates,” the city said in its statement.

“While we’re still in the early stages of analyzing the impact of hosting seven matches, we expect to see increased revenue opportunities from commercial partners and match day sales.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024

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