– Bill Currie
Documents obtained by BC Soccer Web show that the BC NDP never faced a “blank cheque” scenario on the 2026 World Cup bid, and that FIFA negotiations would be ongoing with all three governments through 2020.
The documents obtained through the City of Vancouver show the city moved ahead with the 2026 bid on the expectation of future provincial / federal government and FIFA negotiations to determine estimated costs by 2020. Two of the Canadian bid cities, Toronto and Edmonton, are moving ahead under similar conditions.
On March 15, hours before the Vancouver bid was due to be delivered to the United 2026 bid committee, the BC NDP withdrew the bid without public consultation. Unlike Edmonton or Toronto, they were able to stop the bid as the provincial government owns BC Place Stadium.
BC Place in Vancouver hosted the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final.
The city report estimated Vancouver costs at $30-50 million, with total expenditures by all levels to be close to $170 million for a maximum five matches. This is a fraction of costs for the 2010 Winter Olympics or any World Cup since 2014, including inflation. The FanFest, which is a municipal responsibility, provides free admission to residents and visitors without tickets and made up the majority of these costs. It was was estimated to be $10 – $20 million in Vancouver.
The Canadian cities and provinces have nearly two years to negotiate terms with federal governments and FIFA, with an opt-out clause if they can’t reach an agreement. It was unlikely any Canadian city or province faced expenditures until 2020.
The City of Vancouver report can be accessed here:
…more to come