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FIFA World Cup 26 Vancouver – Important Soccer City in Canada

CanMNT Player Alphonso Davies Scores at a FIFA World Cup 26 Venue

The FIFA World Cup 26 Vancouver is one of two host cities for the FIFA World Cup. It will also become the first-ever Canadian city to host both the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the FIFA World Cup and has already hosted the Winter Olympics back in 2010.

An Important Moment with The FIFA World Cup 26 Vancouver

Host City: Vancouver, British Columbia

Metro Area of Vancouver Population: 2,683,000 (source: Macro Trends)

Soccer Teams Located in the City: Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Vancouver FC, and a planned Project 8 team owned by the Whitecaps that will start in 2025.

Venue: BC Place (54,500)

History and Significance of the Venue With Other Sports

One fact that most people do not know about BC Place, is that one of the primary purposes of the stadium was to get a Major League Baseball team to the city back in 1983 (source: Chris May of The Province). Even though this proved to be unsuccessful, BC Place has successfully hosted many significant events over the years.

For example, it has and continues to be the home of the BC Lions since the year the building was constructed. 1983 was a big year for the venue as they hosted both the Soccer Bowl ’83 and the 1983 Grey Cup game. Both games had massive attendance with the Grey Cup having an attendance of the 59,345 fans per game, while the Soccer Bowl game had an attendance of 53,326. In the Soccer Bowl, the Tulsa Roughnecks won 2-0 while in the Grey Cup, this is while the hosts, the BC Lions lost a game narrowly to the Toronto Argonauts by a scoreline of 18-17.

It also hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of Expo ’86 and has also hosted exhibition games for MLB, Australian rules football, and the NFL.

History and Significance of the Venue With Soccer

What it is also known for is its history of soccer. First, it hosted the original Whitecaps from 1983-84. Also, when the second version of the Whitecaps (started as the Vancouver 86ers in 1986) earned their way into MLS, it became their permanent home since 2011.

Some notable games with the Whitecaps included the 5-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on October 25, 2017. This was and still is the only game where Vancouver eliminated a team from the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Whitecaps were able to watch their three Voyageurs Cup victories at home. This included an exciting penalty shoot-out win over Toronto FC in the 2022 Canadian Championship at BC Place.

As for the CanMNT and especially the CanWNT, there is a lot of big history that was made. This included the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It hosted many games including a group stage game between Canada and Switzerland on June 21, 2015, with Josée Bélanger scoring the game-winning goal with 52,855 people attending the game. Also, it was the venue in Canada’s loss against England in the quarterfinals, which had an attendance of 54,027 people.

Lastly, the final between the USWNT and Japan had an attendance of 53,341 fans where the U.S. won the game 5-2.

It is also well-known for Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt playing their last games of their decorated careers and honouring Erin McLeod, former goalkeeper of the CanWNT on December 5, 2023. It also hosted a CanMNT game on June 2022, where Canada defeated Curaçao by a scoreline of 4-0 win with a reported attendance of 17,216 fans.

READ MORE: Previewing the 2026 World Cup Host Cities: Miami, FL

What the Games Mean for the City

Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010. Since then, Vancouver has gotten a MLS, CPL, NLL, and a CEBL team, with a Project 8 team coming up and a MLR team being a possibility. There is a lot to look forward to in BC’s most populous city, and as mentioned before, it will become the only city in Canada to host both the FIFA World Cup (men’s) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

That is something no other city in Canada will be able to accomplish for many years, if ever. This is what Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport said (source:

“It is so exciting to have the opportunity to host this incredible event in B.C.,” said Popham. “This brand launch serves as an important milestone, as we start counting down the days to the tournament. Hosting will allow us to profile and promote BC as a prime destination like no other, boosting tourism activity throughout the province for years to come.”

The Whitecaps, Vancouver FC, and the new Project 8 women’s pro soccer team coming in 2025, means that there are a range of options and choices for fans and tourists to look forward to when they arrive in Vancouver for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

READ MORE: What to know about Boston hosting 2026 World Cup matches

The 2026 FIFA World Cup Vancouver Is Just One of Many Big Moments in the City

READ MORE: Christine Sinclair And What She Meant for the CanWNT

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, where Canada beat the U.S. for Gold in men’s and women’s ice hockey, was one of the many defining moments in the city in the last sixteen years. A year later, the Whitecaps earned their way into MLS, and other teams started to come to the city. The game though on December 5 against Australia, will live long to the memories of any Canadian soccer fan. So much that even fans outside of Vancouver came to watch the game. This is what Nicole Safranski, a Portland Thorns FC fan (the club team Sinclair plays for) had to say about this (source: Lethbridge News Now):

“I am glowing inside. I am so excited. My dog is named Sinclair, it was just her birthday,” she said. “I just can’t believe the energy here, I’m so excited, I’m so proud of everything Sinclair has done. I’m honoured to be here.”

READ MORE: Sophie Schmidt: Retiring a CanWNT Midfielder Legend

It is a game fans will remember forever, and it will also be a story that will be told at the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, fans can also go visit the city where Davies started his professional soccer career. He played for the Whitecaps 2 in 2016 with two goals in 11 appearances. He then also played for the Whitecaps from 2016-18, scoring eight goals in the process before moving to Europe with FC Bayern Munich.

What The Games Will Do for Vancouver

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will happen when soccer is at its peak in Vancouver. With two professional men’s soccer teams and a professional women’s soccer team coming in 2025, now is the best and most ideal time to have a World Cup in Vancouver. Many kids will dream of playing for the Vancouver local teams and/or also want to represent their country on the world stage. This is especially true with the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the final between the USWNT and Japan, that already took place in the city.

The Whitecaps FC sporting director and chief executive officer, hinted on Vancouver’s recent history of hosting big events (source: Vancouver Whitecaps FC):

“This is an incredible opportunity to welcome everyone back to Vancouver, as we did for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and once again celebrate our special city. Vancouver Whitecaps FC are excited to support our partners at the Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, and BC Place Stadium as we get set to host the world in our home city and stadium.”

READ MORE: FIFA World Cup 26 Toronto – Significance to the City of Toronto

It is unclear how many of the games Vancouver will get of the CanMNT. Toronto has the bigger population, but Vancouver has the bigger stadium with BC Place.


Concacaf Nations League
9 June 2022 – Vancouver, BC, CAN
Photo Credit: Canada Soccer by Bob Frid


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