BMO Field has already undergone a big facelift since it first opened in April of 2007. Now the lakeside stadium in Toronto could play host the soccer’s biggest tournament: the World Cup.
Canada Soccer, as well as Mexico and the United States, have released the list of potential stadiums for their 2026 World Cup bid. Canada’s list included BMO Field as well as the Rogers Centre as the other Toronto venue.
The long list of venues submitted by the three nations includes 49 stadiums. Canada’s list includes nine stadiums from seven different Canadian cities: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Toronto and Vancouver.
BMO Field and BC Place seem like the most likely Canadian stadiums to host tournament matches given their past history with international events. BC Place played host to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while BMO Field has been a venue for both the men’s and women’s Under-20 World Cup.
As part of a joint bid between the three nations, Canada will be hosting 10 matches. It is unknown how many cities those games will be spread across, but it is unlikely to be more than four.
Hosting the tournament would mean further renovations for any of the stadiums selected. None of the stadiums on the list below currently meet FIFA’s criteria, which includes a minimum capacity of 40,000 as well as natural grass.
The full list of stadiums submitted by the three countries can be found here. It includes some iconic stadiums like the Estadio Azteca in Mexico and massive American football venues like AT&T Stadium in Texas.
Canada, the United States and Mexico will be up against a bid from Morocco to see who is given the right to host the 2026 edition of the tournament. It would be the first time the tournament has been played on Canadian soil.
Mexico and the United States have both already hosted the tournament on their own. The Estadio Azteca has already seen two World Cup finals in 1970 and 1986, while the United States hosted the tournament in 1994. The 1986 World Cup in Mexico is the only time Canada has qualified for the event.