TORY: BMO FIELD COULD BE EXPANDED IF TORONTO IS PICKED AS ONE '26 WORLD CUP HOST CITY
Nov 22, 2021
By Bob Komsic
The road to the 2026 FIFA World Cup stopped in Toronto.
Representatives of all three levels of government, business and community leaders met with a delegation of soccer’s world governing body.
After touring BMO Field as part of the selection process, Mayor John Tory says it could be expanded to hold upwards of 45,000 fans should the city be chosen as one of the host cities.
”I will just say that we made a commitment as part of our presentation that we would have the field be such that it complies with the FIFA requirements which are I think a minimum of 45,000. I think we believe we can do better than that,” said Tory.
”This would not be the first time we have done this with the very excellent facility we have at BMO Field. We have expanded it for past FIFA events and I think Grey Cups and a number of other events.”
The current capacity is 30,000.
FIFA’s already awarded the World Cup to a joint North American bid, but has not yet finalized which 16 cities will host the matches.
Toronto’s currently on a short list of 22 cities under consideration.
Edmonton’s the only other Canadian city after Montreal withdrew over financial concerns.
FIFA officials have said they plan to make a decision on the list of host cities in the first half of next year.
”Football has been here a long time but obviously it has gone to another level I would say over the last 10years and that was all evident in their presentation,” said FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.
”It was very thorough and excellent.”
It’s estimated that being chosen as a World Cup host city could mean over $300-million in economic spinoff for the GTA.