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FIFA World Cup 2026 .... Canada


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After Qatar, there is much speculation as to who might host the 2026 World Cup. With Argentina-Uruguay looking to host the centenary edition in 2030, possible candidates include Australia, China and the USA. However Sepp Blatter speaking about the upcoming FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup mentioned that a bid from Canada would not be unwelcomed, praising the previously held FIFA 2007 U-20 World Cup as well.

So could Canada do it?

Well the requirements are usually these (though of course with FIFA exemptions can be made):

  • There should be 8-10 cities in any bid.
  • Only one city should have more than two stadiums in the bid.
  • The minimum seating capacity should be 40,000 seats (which in real terms is 44,000 seats)

All in all this means a minimum 9 stadiums.

Of course Canada already has a nationwide 'football' league with the CFL, though for the unaware, this is not soccer, but the Canadian version of Gridiron ...

There are currently 8 teams, a ninth arriving shortly in Ottawa, and a demand for years that the Atlantic provinces be represented in the CFL. Hosting FIFA 2026 would be a catalyst for new stadiums in areas they are needed (Calgary, Halifax, Regina). Most CFL stadiums have a capacity between 25,000 seats to 35,000 seats though are often expanded to in excess of 50,000 seats for the Grey Cup (CFL's SuperBowl).

So which stadia would be used:

Montreal Olympic stadium - 66,000 seats

Olympic+Stadium.jpg

an update would be getting GMP in to finally fix the retractable roof, and maybe dropping the stands a level as the did with Porto's Das Antas stadium removing the running track area and leaving a 75,000 - 80,000 seat capacity

Edmonton Commonwealth stadium - 60,000 seats

29008.jpg

If not a new stadium, then the additional of a roof over each stand might be the major change

Vancouver BC Place Stadium - 52,500 seats

300px-BC_Place_Opening_Day_2011-09-30.jpg

Recently updated with a retractable roof and used by the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps

Toronto Rogers Center - 52,500 seats

jays2.jpg

Winnipeg Stadium - 30,000 seats (expandable to about 44,000 seats for the Grey Cup)

Stadium_new_May2045531.jpg

proposed Regina Stadium - 35,000 seats (expandable to 50,000 seats)

sk-domed-stadium(2)091106.jpg

new Ottawa Frank Clair stadium - 25,000 seats (expandable to 45,000 seats)

fifa_croppedat600.jpg

Additional Stadiums would be built in Calgary to replace the McMahon Stadium and in Halifax to be the home of an Atlantic Provinces CFL Team.

Of course a key requirement of hosting a World Cup is to have a domestic league but as with FIFA 1994 and the establishment of the MLS but this could occur after the event. If Australia can have a domestic franchise national soccer league of 10 clubs including one from NZ, there's no reason why Canada can't specially as the stadiums would be in place and there would be little need for additional 'soccer specific' facilities though these already exist in Toronto and Montreal.

So there is the minimum 9 stadiums available of the required capacity, and if compared to Russia, only two of their proposed venues have more than 47,000 seats so a Canada World Cup would be in line with capacity requirements. I would propos the tournament open in Edmonton, semi-finals in Vancouver and Toronto and the Final in Montreal.

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Off course they could host it with infrastructure upgrades. Do they deserve it? No. They have qualified for one world cup and should not host until they qualify for more. However Qatar hosts in 2022 which is the worst possible host.

If anything a 10th 90,000 seat stadium would need to be built in Toronto.

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Off course they could host it with infrastructure upgrades. Do they deserve it? No. They have qualified for one world cup and should not host until they qualify for more. However Qatar hosts in 2022 which is the worst possible host.

If anything a 10th 90,000 seat stadium would need to be built in Toronto.

Well that potentially limits new hosts - China has only ever qualified once.

For FIFA its about the proven ability to hold an event across a country - which Canada has been proven.

And I don't think that a 10th venue is needed nor does it need to be 90,000 seats. For the final of the 2018 world cup the Moscow stadium with have a capacity of 71,200 seats - which means Montreal could be a decent bet

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Well that potentially limits new hosts - China has only ever qualified once.

For FIFA its about the proven ability to hold an event across a country - which Canada has been proven.

And I don't think that a 10th venue is needed nor does it need to be 90,000 seats. For the final of the 2018 world cup the Moscow stadium with have a capacity of 71,200 seats - which means Montreal could be a decent bet

Unless Canada offers a new flashy stadium that has a very high seating capacity there is no way its hosting the WC finals.

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I read that in Calgary, the Flames, who own the Hitmen, have recently bought the Stampeders.

It would be an excellent idea if a domestic league were established if each team outside of the 3 MLS teams, were linked with an existing sports team in the city.

I think the owner of the Senators wanted a MLS team - if they same happened in Regina, Winnipeg, Halifax etc, you'd have almost a European type sports clubs of multiple sports under one owner/owners

Is it really? We'd all like to think so, but really?

If you think about it, Russia has held events at multiple venues before, whilst Qatar though a wildcard has previously held the Asian games at several locations.

Due to the size of Canada the fact they've held or are holding FIFA tournaments on both East and West coasts involving at least 16 teams will be a huge plus point ...... a new market, yet with a proven record

Unless Canada offers a new flashy stadium that has a very high seating capacity there is no way its hosting the WC finals.

Russia isn't - they're using the Moscow Olympic stadium of 1980 vintage

In 2014, they are using the Maracana used in 1934

In 2010, they used Soccer City built in the 1990s

In 2006, they used the Berlin Olympic stadium of 1936 vintage

In fact you have to go back to 2002 to see a nice new flashy stadium of high capacity hosting the finals and built specifically for it.

Of recent bids, what FIFA actually prefers is new smaller capacity stadiums around the 45,000 mark to further the sport rather than a grand gesture, and a modernised Olympic stadium is more than sufficient.

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Of course a key requirement of hosting a World Cup is to have a domestic league but as with FIFA 1994 and the establishment of the MLS but this could occur after the event. If Australia can have a domestic franchise national soccer league of 10 clubs including one from NZ, there's no reason why Canada can't specially as the stadiums would be in place and there would be little need for additional 'soccer specific' facilities though these already exist in Toronto and Montreal.

And that will never happen. If there was any time Canada might have been able to create its own league, it would've been if they had ridden the wave of momentum after their Gold Cup win in 2000. Canada has regressed since then, and the CSA is a complete mess when it comes to organizing Canadian soccer. And now the three largest cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver) have teams in the American MLS, and won't be switching over to an inferior Canadian league. The North American sports landscape is different, and Canada and the US have a tradition of sharing the same league for professional sports.

As for hosting the World Cup, it would not be a pleasant experience for the visitor. If Qatar is too small, then Canada is too freakishly big and unpopulated for the traveller. If Canada had any clout in FIFA and had a decent soccer team that made it regularly to the World Cup, or if they were a market of 200 million citizens or its own continent, then maybe FIFA would make an exception for Canada's size the way they did for the US, Brazil and Russia (and the way they would do with Australia or China), but Canada is none of that. They should try and get a decent team first. I'm tired of having to cheer for other teams every 4 years.

That said, if they were ever given the World Cup, then by all means sign me up!

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Gangwon, who said the league will be inferior if allowed to develop properly?

As there was a successful 2007 FIFA U20 tournament on both coasts, I don't see the size of Canada being a problem. At worst the groups would be divided into 3 zones -

West (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton Regina), East (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax) with Winnipeg picking up the extra group games.

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Gangwon, who said the league will be inferior if allowed to develop properly?

As there was a successful 2007 FIFA U20 tournament on both coasts, I don't see the size of Canada being a problem. At worst the groups would be divided into 3 zones -

West (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton Regina), East (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax) with Winnipeg picking up the extra group games.

I am pretty sure Toronto will get a new stadium if they go for the 2026 WC. It could be a catalyst for an NFL Team.

That would move Winnipeg to the west zone.

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Gangwon, who said the league will be inferior if allowed to develop properly?

As there was a successful 2007 FIFA U20 tournament on both coasts, I don't see the size of Canada being a problem. At worst the groups would be divided into 3 zones -

West (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton Regina), East (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax) with Winnipeg picking up the extra group games.

Where will the talent come from for this new league? Canada might have a lot of registered soccer players as kids, but how many of them continue past adolescence? And it surely won't come from abroad, since the new league won't have the financial backing to pay the salaries of any decent imports. Which strikes out the question of whether any Canadian kids would continue playing past youth if there was a league- they won't because they can't get paid decent coin. At least with Tor/Mtl/Van in the MLS, they can watch some decent soccer in a league that can afford to import from the Americas.

And yeah I'm sure a World Cup could work, it would just be a pain for the traveller. Those distances you mentioned (it won't always be Calgary-Edmonton or Ottawa-Montreal) are not easy without a plane or a day's drive.

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Canada or the USA will be the host! It's FIFA's only logic choice in that rotation system... Toronto cpuld built a brand bew stafium in the waterfront, that'll be great!

Canada will be an amazing host!! The only trouble I would see, is that I don't have Canadian Visa yet :( hahaha

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The distances are not an issue Gangwon. The cost is. Canada does not have a commuter air network, its expensive as hell to fly around this country. Canada has no footballing pedigree. None of the stadiums are up to standard. Brazil will have a better stadium infrastructure than us by 2014.

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The distances are not an issue Gangwon. The cost is. Canada does not have a commuter air network, its expensive as hell to fly around this country. Canada has no footballing pedigree. None of the stadiums are up to standard. Brazil will have a better stadium infrastructure than us by 2014.

I think you'll find that Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and the soon to be opened Winnipeg all meet current FIFA standards but of course they would be spruced up for any bid

With a new Ottawa stadium being built and new stadiums subsequently built in Calgary, Regina and Halifax, all of these can be built to FIFA standards. That is before stadiums in Hamilton or maybe even a new Toronto stadium used post games by the Argonauts.

As for travel costs, this was not a problem for the FIFA U20 World Cup held in Canada in 2007.

There were 24 teams in 6 groups, and at that point Canada held the record for ticket sales for this level of tournament. Attendance was a record 22,957 per game which beat Mexico where 'soccer' is god. So it gives a level of interest for the full senior version.

6 venues were used - 3 in the West @ Victoria, Burnaby and Victoria, 3 in the East @ Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal

What is interesting was that each group was based in a city, and only in the final group game where both KO at the same time did two of the teams move to a second city. So it could potentially look like this

Group A - Toronto 4 games (2 games in Ottawa)

Group B - Montreal 4 games (2 games in Ottawa)

Group C - Halifax 5 games (6th games in Toronto)

Group D - Winnipeg 5 games (6th game in Regina)

Group E - Regina 5 games (6th game in Winnipeg)

Group F - Edmonton 5 games (6th game in Calgary)

Group G - Calgary 5 games (6th game in Edmonton)

Group H - Vancouver 5 games (6th game in Ottawa)

Regina drop out before the last 16 phase and then you get QFs in the bigger stadiums, SF in Toronto and Vancouver and the final in Montreal.

FIFA have already demonstrated that one group in one city with a spare city actually works.

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So let me see if I have this one straight.. because Canada can satisfy the bare minimum of requirements (which is highly questionable, we'll get to that in a sec), they should go after the World Cup full well knowing that their main competition is likely to come from their neighbors from the south who probably have a full bid worth of stadiums all larger than the biggest stadium that Canada can offer? Yea, that makes a lot of sense. 23,000 fans per game for the U20 is nice, but it's not on the level of the World Cup. Again though, 2 problem with those minimum requirements...

1) The development of a domestic league. The United States got around that provision by promising to create one. But that wasn't too hard, there's a lot of cities out there with at least some interest in soccer (credit the 1984 Olympics for proving that) and MLS, while not exactly a super-power in this country, is doing okay. But with teams in Canada, can Canada start up their own domestic league? I mean.. remind me again what country's league most hockey players are in because that's only the biggest and most important sport in the entire country.

2) Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't there a new requirement that the final has to be held at a stadium with a capacity of greater than 80,000? Soccer City hit that number. Maracana and Luzhniki may be old stadiums, but they're good. Lusail Iconic is slated for 86,000 seats. So where's Canada's centerpiece stadium? If you're counting on a final at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada has zero chance of pulling this one off and would be saving themselves a lot of pain and aggravation by not even trying.

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So let me see if I have this one straight.. because Canada can satisfy the bare minimum of requirements (which is highly questionable, we'll get to that in a sec), they should go after the World Cup full well knowing that their main competition is likely to come from their neighbors from the south who probably have a full bid worth of stadiums all larger than the biggest stadium that Canada can offer? Yea, that makes a lot of sense. 23,000 fans per game for the U20 is nice, but it's not on the level of the World Cup. Again though, 2 problem with those minimum requirements...

1) The development of a domestic league. The United States got around that provision by promising to create one. But that wasn't too hard, there's a lot of cities out there with at least some interest in soccer (credit the 1984 Olympics for proving that) and MLS, while not exactly a super-power in this country, is doing okay. But with teams in Canada, can Canada start up their own domestic league? I mean.. remind me again what country's league most hockey players are in because that's only the biggest and most important sport in the entire country.

2) Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't there a new requirement that the final has to be held at a stadium with a capacity of greater than 80,000? Soccer City hit that number. Maracana and Luzhniki may be old stadiums, but they're good. Lusail Iconic is slated for 86,000 seats. So where's Canada's centerpiece stadium? If you're counting on a final at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada has zero chance of pulling this one off and would be saving themselves a lot of pain and aggravation by not even trying.

I'll deal with this in order

A) Based on that assumption - Portugal/Spain or England would have beaten Russia because both were offering larger stadia overall, and the USA should have beaten Qatar.

The fact that the NHL has since its inception with the original inception been a shared league bares no relevance to a soccer league. Furthermore when the USA hosted 1994 they did not have a league and it was the promise of organising one afterwards that was accepted. As Sepp Blatter has not raised it as issue, I doubt it is considered one. The fact that Canada organised the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2007 with record attendances is what counts. And the MLS has included teams from another country as has the A-League in Australia so can hardly be considered an exclusively domestic league.

B) There is no such rule. Japan/South Korea hosted their final in a 72,000 seat stadium. Germany hosted the 2006 final in a 74,500 seat stadium. And as I have mentioned, the Montreal Olympic Stadium currently has a capacity of 66,000 seats for football, with space for the running track still in place - remove the track drop the pitch by a level as they did with the Etihad and the Das Antas stadium in Porto and you add an extra 15,000 - 20,000 seats, which surpases your requirement. I have read that FIFA once they've taken out 'inappropriate seats' etc will leave the Luzhkiki with just under 72,000 seats

FIFA has only 3 rules of which one is variable

1) there must be at least 8 but not more than 10 host cities (Brasil has been given a special excemption for 12)

2) only one city can have two stadiums - you need 8-11 stadiums for the World Cup

3) minimum capacity must be a FIFA 40,000 seats which in reality means 44,000 seats.

Here is what someone important thinks

"Canada was very close as a candidate in the last stage for the 1986 World Cup along with the United States and Mexico," said Sepp Blatter when we chatted in the House of Commons following the announcement. "Canada was close then, but that would have been premature. Now with the Women's World Cup in 2015, with the new stadia they have in Canada, I am sure they are ready to organize the big competition and it would be fine. The next one open would be in 2026 so they would have to wait 10 years but then they could be a candidate."

http://www.tsn.ca/soccer/story/?id=395306

FIFA aren't focused on whether about its the biggest, its about spreading the game to new countries.

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So let me see if I have this one straight.. because Canada can satisfy the bare minimum of requirements (which is highly questionable, we'll get to that in a sec), they should go after the World Cup full well knowing that their main competition is likely to come from their neighbors from the south who probably have a full bid worth of stadiums all larger than the biggest stadium that Canada can offer? Yea, that makes a lot of sense. 23,000 fans per game for the U20 is nice, but it's not on the level of the World Cup. Again though, 2 problem with those minimum requirements...

1) The development of a domestic league. The United States got around that provision by promising to create one. But that wasn't too hard, there's a lot of cities out there with at least some interest in soccer (credit the 1984 Olympics for proving that) and MLS, while not exactly a super-power in this country, is doing okay. But with teams in Canada, can Canada start up their own domestic league? I mean.. remind me again what country's league most hockey players are in because that's only the biggest and most important sport in the entire country.

Arrogance at its best

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Arrogance at its best

Yes int, I'm an American who looks down on Canada and thinks you're inferior to the United States. And yes, that was full of sarcasm. My point on Canada is the same thing I say time and time again about Olympic bids.. there's a difference between being an acceptable candidate and winning and election when you're up against actual competition. And this isn't Toronto vs. NYC or Chicago. Easier to match up cities. No disrespect to Canada, but if they're bidding against the United States for 2026, I doubt Canada is going to be the favorite in that one. Doesn't mean they can't win since, after all, look at 2022. But if sheep wants to go into how Canada meets the requirements (and they still don't but that's coming next, how about if I list all the stadiums the United States has to offer.

And sheep.. if you're going to patronize me by re-posting something from the first post in the thread as if I didn't see it, the least you could do is some research, because it took me about 45 seconds worth of Google search to find this very official document which is reference in about a dozen other articles and posts online..

http://www.fifa.com/...idcirculare.pdf

It states Approximately 12 stadiums with minimum capacities of between 40,000 for group matches and 80,000 for the opening match and final, are required to host the FIFA World Cup.

Those rules were in place for 2018/2022 and probably will remain in place. So Brazil and previous World Cup hosts were not bidding with that requirement in place.

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Yes int, I'm an American who looks down on Canada and thinks you're inferior to the United States. And yes, that was full of sarcasm. My point on Canada is the same thing I say time and time again about Olympic bids.. there's a difference between being an acceptable candidate and winning and election when you're up against actual competition. And this isn't Toronto vs. NYC or Chicago. Easier to match up cities. No disrespect to Canada, but if they're bidding against the United States for 2026, I doubt Canada is going to be the favorite in that one. Doesn't mean they can't win since, after all, look at 2022. But if sheep wants to go into how Canada meets the requirements (and they still don't but that's coming next, how about if I list all the stadiums the United States has to offer.

And sheep.. if you're going to patronize me by re-posting something from the first post in the thread as if I didn't see it, the least you could do is some research, because it took me about 45 seconds worth of Google search to find this very official document which is reference in about a dozen other articles and posts online..

http://www.fifa.com/...idcirculare.pdf

It states Approximately 12 stadiums with minimum capacities of between 40,000 for group matches and 80,000 for the opening match and final, are required to host the FIFA World Cup.

Those rules were in place for 2018/2022 and probably will remain in place. So Brazil and previous World Cup hosts were not bidding with that requirement in place.

Your earlier post using Sheep's EXISTING stadiums to judge Canada's ability is off course wrong. If Canada is going to bid and win they will have to build a 80-90,000 seat stadium in Toronto to have any chance. If FIFA is keen on growing the game off course Canada should host. And unlike the USA Canada has been building up and pleasing FIFA for the last couple of years by bidding on other tournaments and showing their ability. Setting an attendance record for the 2007 FIFA world u20 cup and likely the 2015 WWC will help the bid more then hurt it.

With that being said I don't think Canada should focus on bidding, but rather qualifying a team into the WC

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Yes int, I'm an American who looks down on Canada and thinks you're inferior to the United States. And yes, that was full of sarcasm. My point on Canada is the same thing I say time and time again about Olympic bids.. there's a difference between being an acceptable candidate and winning and election when you're up against actual competition. And this isn't Toronto vs. NYC or Chicago. Easier to match up cities. No disrespect to Canada, but if they're bidding against the United States for 2026, I doubt Canada is going to be the favorite in that one. Doesn't mean they can't win since, after all, look at 2022. But if sheep wants to go into how Canada meets the requirements (and they still don't but that's coming next, how about if I list all the stadiums the United States has to offer.

And sheep.. if you're going to patronize me by re-posting something from the first post in the thread as if I didn't see it, the least you could do is some research, because it took me about 45 seconds worth of Google search to find this very official document which is reference in about a dozen other articles and posts online..

http://www.fifa.com/...idcirculare.pdf

It states Approximately 12 stadiums with minimum capacities of between 40,000 for group matches and 80,000 for the opening match and final, are required to host the FIFA World Cup.

Those rules were in place for 2018/2022 and probably will remain in place. So Brazil and previous World Cup hosts were not bidding with that requirement in place.

And where have you failed to read where I have explained how Montreal's stadium can be increased to in excess of 80,000 seats.

What you will discover is the rules are not hard and fast. Take Moscow. The Luzhniki has a capacity of 89,000. However for international games it is restricted to 78,000 seats ... and because of the requirements of media etc, for the World Cup it will be closer to 72,000 seats ... for 2018.

As you clearly on selectively looked at what I'd written and failed to mention how I said Canada would have the 80,000 seat stadium, you deserve to be patronised.

Clearly as an American your attitude is biggest is the only consideration - maybe that explains your sucess in 2012, 2016 and FIFA 2022

Look at all those 70,000 seat stadiums the USA served up for WC 2022 ... how did that work out? - oh well they got beaten by a country offering lots of 45,000 seat capacities.

As the MLS is and continues to be the 5th rank sport, the USA is a footballing backwater.

I mean you can't even refer to football by its proper name.

and despite your PDF, Qatar in 2022 is only using 7 cities:

Doha

Al-Daayen

Al-Khor

Ash-Shamel

Al Wakrah

Umm Salal

Al-Rayyan

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Your earlier post using Sheep's EXISTING stadiums to judge Canada's ability is off course wrong. If Canada is going to bid and win they will have to build a 80-90,000 seat stadium in Toronto to have any chance. If FIFA is keen on growing the game off course Canada should host. And unlike the USA Canada has been building up and pleasing FIFA for the last couple of years by bidding on other tournaments and showing their ability. Setting an attendance record for the 2007 FIFA world u20 cup and likely the 2015 WWC will help the bid more then hurt it.

With that being said I don't think Canada should focus on bidding, but rather qualifying a team into the WC

Chicken or Egg, what comes first - get Canada qualified or host the tournament that will encourage football in a massive way.

As for Toronto, I see that the Lusail Stadium will be reduced from 86,000 to 20,000 afterwards. I see no reason why a stadium for the CFL Argonauts of 35,000 seats cannot be expanded in such a way temporarily for any World Cup.

If you then add Hamilton to the mix and maybe the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium and you have 12 stadiums

Toronto - new 40-80,000 seats

Toronto - Rogers Center 53,000 seats

Montreal - 80,000 seats

Edmonton - 60,000 seats

Vancouver - BC Place 52,000 seats

Vancouver - Waterfront 30-40,000 seats

Calgary

Regina

Winnipeg

Ottawa

Halifax

Hamilton

Of Qatars' stadiums most will have their capacities halved after the games, so its something that FIFA are used to.

And whilst Canada strikes a positive note with FIFA, I see that Chuck Blazer of the US has been dragging CONACAF's name through the mud with further financial scandal and impropriety allegedly on his part.

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Only 10 cities will be needed supposing that 2 cities will need 2 stadiums, if you wanna haver 12 venues, but for example, South Africa 2010 only used 10 stadiums and 8 cities!

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Also, unless they suddenly change the rules again...Asian and European countries can NOT bid for 2026 since 2018 and 2022 were played in those continents. So, really only No and So. America, and Africa can bid for 2026? So it'll probably be the US, Morocco and an Argentina-Uruguay bid warming up for a 2030 run. You crunch the numbers.

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