Vancouver is aiming to bring the world’s largest sporting event to a pitch near you.
The city is one of nine locations vying to be a part of joint bid by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to host the FIFA 2026 World Cup. The United Bid Committee, which is coordinating North America’s proposal, released its long list of 46 potential host cities, which included Vancouver, as well as Toronto, New York and Los Angeles.
Other Canadian cities on the list include: Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Regina and Montreal.
“Vancouver is a world-class host city that has successfully hosted many international sporting events including the 2010 Winter Olympics, the HSBC Rugby World Sevens Series and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This is an exciting opportunity for Canadian soccer fans to show off the fantastic fan atmosphere we’ll be able to provide as a host city and be a significant boost to the economy and local businesses.”
The FIFA World Cup, which takes place every four years, is the biggest sporting competition in the world. Brazil hosted the 2014 edition, which attracted more than 3.4 million spectators.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature an expanded field of 48 teams. If the tournament is awarded to North America, 10 matches will be held in Canada.
The United Bid Committee is expected to shortlist cities for inclusion in the bid next month before submitted its proposal in March 2018. Morocco is the only other country bidding to host the event. FIFA will announce the winning bid on June 13, 2018.