In 2026, the FIFA World Cup will take place in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This World Cup is set to be a first for many different reasons but none more so than the fact that it is the only time in the tournament’s history so far that it will be held in three countries at once.
For Canada, this presents a unique opportunity to boost the economy with the country lined up to stage ten matches with the cities of Vancouver and Toronto sharing hosting duties.
It’s been well documented that tourism is already one of the country’s largest industries and the influx of visitors for the World Cup in the summer of 2026 when the national weather will be at its best, is expected to generate billions of dollars in economic activity. This is especially true when you consider that Canada’s host cities are on opposite sides of the country. In other words, the benefits that a World Cup brings will be felt across the length and breadth of the Great White North with no one left out.
Canada has received three awards in Condé Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards within the islands category for North America (outside the US). Congrats to Cape Breton, Vancouver Island and Prince Edward Island! #ExploreCanada pic.twitter.com/8X06t8A3Il
— Destination Canada (@DestinationCAN) October 9, 2020
In addition to the predicted direct spending on hotels, food, and souvenirs, tourists will also bring money into the country through indirect means such as airfare and entertainment.
The reality is that with proper planning, Canada can make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime event and ensure that the positive economic effects are felt long after the final whistle has blown. Here are four areas where Canada will benefit most from earning the right to host football’s greatest showpiece.
Canada can become a global soccer force
Nothing gets a country interested in soccer like hosting the World Cup does and encouragingly for Canada, they already have a team that is capturing the nation’s imagination after securing qualification to the VISA2022 World Cup for the first time since 1986. Admittedly, very few Canadians are expecting the country to win the event given that as of the 21st of November, the nation is at odds of +50000 in the most recent online betting markets to go all the way in Qatar, but the fact remains; having representation again at a World Cup for Canada is huge.
Naturally, this interest that first arose from qualification is only set to grow when the World Cup kicks off on home soil in four years’ time. Again, with the right strategies in place, Canada can use this momentum to become a global force in the modern game.
“We want to show that we are a football nation.” ⚽️
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 20, 2022
When a FIFA World Cup comes to town, jobs are typically created, and lots of them too. As far as Canada is concerned, the expectation is that thousands of new opportunities will be on offer in the construction, hospitality, and leisure industries.
With this extra income being driven into local businesses from the creation of jobs, owners will have the freedom to be able to invest heavily in growth and expansion which should, in theory, result in providing even more employment for communities as time goes on. Ultimately, the tournament should help to foster sustainable development in a number of different sectors.
All of a sudden, you can see why countries compete so fiercely to host a World Cup as the legacy it leaves can inspire positive change for decades to come.
Canada’s global image
The FIFA World Cup is the largest international sporting event in the world and it is only set to get bigger in 2026 when the tournament will expand to include 48 teams, up from the current 32. With this increase in size comes an increase in prominence, and hosting the World Cup is a guaranteed way for Canada to raise its profile on the global stage. In essence, not only will hosting the World Cup bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to Canada’s shores, but it will also give the country a chance to show off its diverse culture and natural beauty to a worldwide audience who will be watching on from their homes around the globe. As we’ve seen in 2022, Qatar has been able to benefit from having its profile raised which is what the organizers were desperate for in the build-up.
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) November 21, 2022
Essentially, the Qataris wanted their global standing not to be defined by the size of their tiny county but rather to reflect their great ambitions for the future. It goes without saying but with great privilege, comes even greater responsibility and Canada will have to decide what message it wants to send to the world when they arrive in 2026.
As Canada prepares to host the World Cup in 2026, there is an opportunity for all Canadians to come together and celebrate the country’s culture and diversity. While there have been many changes over the past century and a half, Canada remains a place where people from all backgrounds can find a welcoming home. The World Cup provides a rare opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and to celebrate the country’s achievements as the world watches on. It is also a chance to look ahead to the future and imagine what Canada will be like in another 150 years.