Breaking down Canada’s potential 2026 World Cup venues


tfc-dallas-players-at-bmo-field

Canadian soccer fans, rejoice. Canada will finally get the chance to host the World Cup.

Announced Wednesday morning, Canada joined forces with the United States and Mexico to form a “United Bid” for the 2026 World Cup and ended up beating out fellow finalist Morocco 134-65.

It’s exciting news for any Canadian footy fan, but it also begs a few questions about how the Great White North will be involved, especially logistically.

At the moment, between the three nations, there are 23 candidate host cities that will be whittled down to 16. Of these 23, Canada has three in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton.

3 nations.
16 host cities.
80 games.

| https://t.co/jbld3pvI99 pic.twitter.com/75IDWh93FU

— United 2026 (@united2026) June 13, 2018

Vancouver, despite hosting World Cup qualifying matches in the past, withdrew from the United Bid back in March, so it won’t be involved.

It’s expected that all three Canadian sites will get games, but that’s yet to be decided, and could come down to a number of reasons, including the actual stadiums themselves.

The three venues in question are Toronto’s BMO Field, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

Here’s a closer look at what each location has to offer.

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BMO Field – Toronto

FC Dallas and Toronto FC players take pitch at BMO Field before the start of first half MLS action in Toronto on Saturday, May 7, 2016. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Capacity: 30,000 (expandable to 40,000)
Notable international soccer events hosted: 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Home of the 2017 MLS Cup champions Toronto FC, BMO Field is a natural-grass stadium that, unlike the other two candidates, is made for soccer first and foremost.

The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts also share the field, but this is a location that was built from the ground up with soccer in mind since it first opened in 2007 with sightlines optimized for the world’s most popular game.

With that said, BMO Field’s capacity is much smaller than the other two. Unless more expansion of the stadium is planned, 40,000 probably isn’t going to cut it, particularly because Toronto is likely to be a very popular destination for the many, many fans that travel for the World Cup.

Olympic Stadium – Montreal

A security guard stands outside Olympic Stadium in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

Capacity: 61,000
Notable international soccer events hosted: 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Of the three, Olympic Stadium boasts the largest seating capacity, but comes with other problems, including the building’s age and deterioration.

First built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the “Big O” has played host to many sporting events and teams over the years, including the defunct Montreal Expos.

From a soccer standpoint, the venue has hosted major international tournaments …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

      

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