New report finds hosting FIFA World Cup estimated to cost Toronto nearly $380M

A new city report reveals that the cost of hosting matches for the 2026 World Cup in Toronto is expected to be approximately $80 million higher than initially estimated. Despite the potential economic benefits, including a boost to GDP and tax revenues, cost projections have continued to rise.

Initially, the cost was estimated between $30 million and $45 million in 2018. However, by 2022, projections had ballooned to around $300 million due to various factors, including Toronto being awarded an additional match. The latest report suggests that taxpayers could face a bill of around $380 million.

City officials emphasize the economic and cultural benefits of hosting the World Cup, particularly in sectors like tourism and hospitality. While the cost increase is deemed manageable by some, others, like Coun. Josh Matlow, argue that the current deal isn’t favorable to taxpayers and call for more support from provincial and federal governments.

Ontario has pledged up to $97 million for Toronto’s hosting duties, contingent on federal matching funds. Despite the rising costs, some, like Coun. Mike Colle, believe that the investment will pay off in the long run, citing the potential for job growth and global exposure for the city.

The report will undergo review by the city’s executive committee before being presented to the city council for consideration on March 20th.

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