This week, Toronto city council is deciding whether or not the city will host up to five games for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

According to a staff report going before city council, the total cost of bringing the World Cup to Toronto could be $290 million. While this is a huge increase from the original $30 to $45 million estimate provided in 2018, staff are saying the economic advantage is worth the cost. For example, the games would bring 174,000 overnight visitors to Toronto and generate 3,300 jobs.

Mayor John Tory is all for bringing the World Cup to Toronto. “You have to plan these things quite far out and I can’t imagine the biggest city in our country, the most diverse city in the world not participating in the global sporting event that it is going to come to Canada regardless,” he said according to CP24. “I think it is going to be exciting, it will be positive and all the money we invest will come back to other governments and more.”

While we’ve known for awhile that the 2026 games will be held across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the specific cities hosting the games won’t be announced by FIFA until next month. Right now, the proposed cost of hosting the FIFA World Cup in Toronto would be about $74 million, with another $20 million in resources. Toronto would also be responsible for hosting a fan fest that would cost the city more than $17 million.

If chosen, Toronto would spend roughly $63.7 million to renovate BMO Field to accommodate an additional 15,000 fans, as FIFA requires all World Cup venues to host at least 45,000 people. The expansion of the stadium would be temporary, and work on BMO Field would begin in 2024. 

Canada’s men’s national team qualified for this year’s World Cup last month with a victory over Jamaica at BMO Field. It’s the first time since 1986 that the Great White North will participate in the tournament.