FIFA reveals Vancouver’s 2026 World Cup games

Vancouver’s BC Place will host seven games during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, including three of Canada’s group stage matches. Angela Bower reports.

Canada will play two 2026 World Cup games in Vancouver on June 18 and June 24, after opening its tournament in Toronto on June 12. The announcement by FIFA was made on Sunday afternoon.

Both Canadian cities will host five World Cup group stage games each in the 104-game event. Vancouver’s other group stage dates are June 13, June 21 and June 26.

Vancouver will also host matches during the round of 32 and round of 16 stages, which will take place on July 2 and July 7.

Chris May, general manager of BC Place, says the number of matches Vancouver is hosting came as a surprise, as he initially thought Vancouver would only get five games.

“I think it will be one of the hardest tickets to find in Vancouver. We are going to be sold out. There is not doubt,” May said. “We have just under 55,000 people for a sporting event that can fit in the stadium.”

May says a lot of work will be put into BC Place before the World Cup, including replacing the artificial turf with natural grass, as B.C. gets set to welcome a global audience

“A big effort for us is accessibility, and using the fact that we are hosting the games to improve accessible access… to BC Place,” he said.

Peter Czimmermann, president of soccer fan club The Vancouver Southsiders, says he’s excited for Vancouver to be a host city. He says his group of local soccer supporters has plans to gather fans before the FIFA matches, and stand, sing and support the players on the field.

“Our group is excited to attend any time soccer matches are at BC Place, but this is a major event. Everyone in our group is cheering on Canada,” he said.

Chief Jen Thomas of səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) says she’s also thrilled Vancouver is one of the host cities for the upcoming world cup.

“Soccer plays a vital part in our Tsleil-Waututh Nation community and brings our members together,” Thomas said in a statement. “For our youth, what they learn through playing goes beyond the pitch: it strengthens their pride in their culture and who they are.”

Tourism Minister Lana Popham adds that the tournament will be a great opportunity to boost local businesses and create new jobs.

Mexico City will host the 48-team tournament’s opening game on June 11, with the co-hosts facing an opponent to be determined at Azteca Stadium, while the U.S. will open its games in Los Angeles, on June 12. Seattle will also a U.S. group game.

Mexico’s other host cities are Guadalajara and Monterrey. Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area will host games in the U.S.

The complete schedule picture will have to wait, given the other 45 competing teams have yet to be decided with qualifying already underway in CONMEBOL (South America), the AFC (Asia) and CAF (Africa). Qualifying in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, starts in March.

CONCACAF could send as many as eight teams to the expanded tournament whose draw is scheduled for early December 2025.

There will be 12 groups of four teams in the first round, with the top two from each group plus the eight best third-placed sides moving into the knockout round of 32.

—With files from The Canadian Press and Angela Bower

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