Toronto’s World Cup price tag is up $10M, city report says

Toronto is four years away from hosting games for the 2026 World Cup, but the price tag for the event has already gone up $10 million, according to a new city report.

The estimated cost of hosting five games in Toronto is now projected to be approximately $300 million by 2026.

The provincial and federal governments are expected to cover approximately two-thirds of this amount. However, detailed financial commitments have not yet been secured.

According to the report, which heads to Mayor John Tory’s executive committee next Tuesday, the costs are expected to be partially offset through access to commercial rights and other revenue opportunities that FIFA provides to event organizers.

Toronto was announced as a host city for the World Cup in mid-June — setting off celebrations among the city’s soccer fans. Tory had been authorized in April to accept the nomination even if full government funding was not yet guaranteed.

Toronto city council is now being asked to approve a multi-party agreement between the city, the province and the federal government, as well as Soccer Canada, to help secure the funding.

However, the federal government has indicated that specific commitments will only be made once a national safety and security plan has been completed. That isn’t expected until early 2023. Funding commitments from the province have been delayed due to the timing of last month’s provincial election. 

If the executive committee approves the multi-party agreement, it will go before council on July 19. Council is also being asked to hire nine people to support planning and preparation for the World Cup.

The 2026 World Cup will have a total of 80 matches. Ten of those games are expected to be played in Toronto and Vancouver.

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