In case you missed it, Montreal is hosting part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The FIFA Congress met in Moscow this morning to formally accept the joint bid between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Canada will host 10 games in total with anywhere between 3 and 6 games taking place in Montreal.
International events such as this have definite benefits, like new attractions and long-awated infrastructure improvements. For Expo '67 Montreal got its metro system.
But spectacles like the World Cup also come with tremendous costs. It took decades for the city and province to pay off the cost of the 1976 Olympic Games. The 2026 matches will be no exception.
City officials estimate that the FIFA World Cup could cost as much as $150,000,000!(!!).
Currently, the only venue that could host such a huge event is the Olympic Park. But some modifications will need to be made. A natrual grass turf and necessary irrigation would need to be installed. And that roof that was just reinstalled? It would have to be taken off.
Not to mention the cost of road closures and other general beautification projects that would be necessary to make the area camera-ready. There's also the huge police and military presence that comes with huge international events and attention. That militarization will undoubtedly annoy and even harm some Montreal residents.
On the other hand, the city can expect up to $210,000,000 in revenue to flow in from visitors and spectators. That will be a boon to local businesses and the municipal budget. But will the benefits outweigh the potential costs? Stay tuned.