World Cup bid win boost for new league
News of Canada securing a portion of the 2026 World Cup should provide a huge boost to the Canadian Premier League ahead of its inaugural season.
The CPL will kick off in eight to 10 communities next April.
“Having the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Canada will transform the way that Canadians perceive the global game and change the way the world sees Canada,” CPL commissioner David Clanachan said in a statement.
“Congratulations to the United Bid on their commitment and special recognition to our partners at Canada Soccer for their leadership in making Canada a focal point of the bid.
“The Canadian Premier League and our clubs will be celebrating this decision with all Canadians coast to coast. We look forward to having the 2026 FIFA World Cup played in Canadian stadiums, and we are even more excited at the possibility of having CPL athletes playing on the world’s biggest stage on home soil.”
The CPL has officially unveiled clubs in Halifax, York Region, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.
Clubs in Hamilton, Ottawa and B.C. are expected to follow before 2019, with room for multiple additions in 2020.
Meanwhile, Toronto Mayor John Tory is touting the 2026 bid victory as a good investment for the city. Tory says Canada had little chance of hosting the tournament on its own, but will reap the benefits from the joint bid’s victory.
Tory says the investment the city will make is “relatively modest for an event of this scale.”
He says $30 million or more will be spent on the event, not including security costs, and will be shared between governments.
Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal are among the 23 candidate host cities, with FIFA expected to select up to 16 sites.