World Cup bid win boost for new league

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - KUR­TIS LAR­SON

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.

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