B.C. ‘updating cost estimates’ for FIFA, as Toronto’s budget balloons

With more FIFA matches added to its roster, B.C. says it’s “updating its cost estimates” to determine how much hosting the coveted international event will really cost.

On Monday, Toronto — which is set to host six games — announced its own FIFA budget has blown up to $380 million, from the $300 million estimated in July 2022.

Meanwhile, B.C.’s Budget 2024 mentions contingency allocations of $3.7 billion in 2026/2027, which includes uncertain costs related to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026.

However, B.C.’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport tells CityNews the majority of the allocation in the budget is not for FIFA.

“Most of the contingency funds will be for caseload pressures, CleanBC initiatives, emergency response, floods, fires and other unforeseen events,” it said in a statement.

The ministry says it continues to work with its event partners to further B.C.’s overall cost estimates for “planning, staging and hosting FIFA World Cup ’26 matches,” along with its projections of the economic benefits of hosting two additional matches.

“Now that we know B.C. is getting more matches than expected, we are updating our cost estimates and the short and long-term economic benefits of hosting FIFA World Cup 26,” it stated.

The ministry adds the federal government is a key partner, and B.C. is looking to them to shoulder some of its FIFA costs.

“B.C. has applied for the maximum amount of up to 50 per cent of eligible FIFA event costs. We expect to hear more on the federal commitment later this year,” the ministry said.

The ministry says the two additional matches mean more opportunities to boost tourism in B.C. and grow the economy.

“Preliminary estimates from Destination BC and BC Stats assumed that hosting just five matches could attract close to 269,000 visitors to Vancouver during the tournament,” it said.

B.C. also predicted the original five matches would bring in a total of more than 900,000 additional tourists during, and five years after, 2026 which totals to “more than $1 billion in additional visitor spending for B.C.’s economy.”

“This is in addition to the $15 billion B.C.’s tourism sector currently brings in annually, which supports more than 100,000 jobs,” the ministry stated.

In June 2022, B.C. estimated costs for “planning, staging and hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026” between $240 million and $260 million.

With files from Hana Mae Nassar.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today