Toronto Says World Cup Cost Estimate Now at $380 Million, Cites Additional Match

Toronto Says World Cup Cost Estimate Now at $380 Million, Cites Additional Match
A detail view of Canada branding on a team uniform ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, July 17, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Scott Barbour)
The Canadian Press
The City of Toronto estimates it will cost $380 million to host World Cup matches in the city, an increase of $80 million compared to a 2022 forecast partly because of the addition of another match to the schedule.
Toronto and Vancouver are the Canadian cities set to host matches during the 2026 World Cup, which will also be played across the United States and Mexico.
The city manager and executive director of World Cup hosting say in a report released on Feb. 26 that city staff have been reviewing planning assumptions, cost estimates, revenue and benefit opportunities after FIFA announced this month that Toronto had been awarded seven matches, including six group stage matches and one knockout stage contest.

The report links the estimated $80 million cost increase to Toronto being awarded a sixth group stage match, instead of the five initially predicted, as well as an evaluation of vendor quotes, safety and security requirements and inflationary uncertainty.

The report notes that hosting costs are expected to be shared by all levels of government and that earlier projections, based on five group stage matches, forecast that the World Cup would generate an additional $392 million in gross domestic product for Toronto.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow says she is excited the tournament is coming to the city and “can’t wait” until the action kicks off in June 2026, but she wanted the public to know about the increased costs.

“It is important that we are transparent, that we are realistic, and (in 2022), no one anticipated the rate of inflation of today,” Ms. Chow told reporters.

The mayor further said she wanted to ensure that small businesses benefit from the World Cup, adding that her goal was to engage “as many Torontonians as possible.”