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Estimated cost of World Cup matches in Vancouver has doubled since 2022

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The estimated cost of staging matches at BC Place Stadium during the 2026 World Cup has more than doubled over the past two years to $483 million to $581 million Canadian ($351 million to $422 million U.S,).

An estimate in March 2022 was $260 million Canadian ($330 million U.S.) for five games but the total was increased to seven matches by FIFA.

The document included costs for the city and the province along with stadium upgrades. The updated estimate factors hosting, operating and capital requirements following FIFA site visits, increased inflation assumptions and provincial costs such as public sector essential services.

“Sure, there’s going to be more costs and revenue, but if you stretch it over the long term, the benefits are massive, and they will more than pay for that deficit,” Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim said Tuesday.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The British Columbia government says the event is expected to generate enough revenue to result in a net cost of $100 million to $145 million Canadian ($73 million to $105 million U.S.).

British Columbia Minister of Tourism Lana Popham said the event will draw about 350,000 fans to the province and generate more than $1 billion Canadian ($727 million U.S.) for tourism in the five years following the tournament.

“It was interesting because obviously we originally said no, but there’s been more opportunities that have been brought to us. FIFA has added in more revenue generating opportunities for the province,” she said.

“And so, when you look at all of that, we believe that this investment is a good deal for British Columbians. We are looking at the return on this dollar as something that is extremely positive.”

As much as $196 million Canadian ($142 million U.S.) has been earmarked for upgrades to BC Place.


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