The FIFA Men’s World Cup (World Cup) is the world’s most watched sporting event, with a global viewership of four billion people for the entire competition and upwards of 200 million for each match. Overseen by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), the World Cup is held every four years and generates significant economic and cultural benefits for host cities. In 2018, the 2026 World Cup was awarded to a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, with 80 matches to be staged across 16 cities in North America, of which 10 matches are expected to be in Canada.
On June 16, 2022, the City of Toronto was announced as an official Host City for the World Cup 2026. As directed by City Council in April 2022, this report provides a status update including status of negotiations with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, updates on cost estimates, and an implementation plan for the event secretariat required for the successful planning and execution of the 2026 World Cup in Toronto. Toronto hosting part of the 2026 World Cup will bring global media attention and positive economic and cultural benefits for the city that will sustain COVID–19 recovery in hard hit sectors, such as tourism, hospitality and entertainment. Projected benefits of hosting five matches in Toronto include:
• Estimated $307.0 million dollars of GDP impact;
• 3,300 jobs;
• 174,000 overnight visitors; and,
• 292,000 room nights generating projected Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT)
revenues of $3.5 million.
Overall, the operations and capital costs to be incurred locally in Toronto have been projected to be approximately $300.0 million by 2026, including a 10 percent contingency. This reflects a 3.4 percent increase in the projected cost as presented to City Council in April 2022, due the recent escalation in inflation rates. In keeping with the Federal Policy for Hosting International Sport Events in Canada, the Governments of Canada and Ontario are expected to cover up to two-thirds of this amount – an approximate total of $184.0 million. In addition, the cost of hosting the World Cup will be also partially offset through access to commercial rights and related revenue opportunities delegated by FIFA to event organizers, such as the City of Toronto. The cost for the City of Toronto, prior to any further offsets including earned revenue sources from fees, commercial sponsorship and local partnerships, is projected to be up to $77.1 million in investment plus $24.0 million in City services offered in-kind, primarily in 2025 and 2026.