Canada & the 2018 World Cup: Impacts and What to Expect in 2026

How the FIFA World Cup Is Influencing Canadian Football

By looking at the history of US football it’s easy to predict what fortunes may befall Canada after they host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The football scene in America battled to take off for over 30 years, but after the 1994 World Cup this trend quickly changed. The birth of MLS, the US Men’s National team becoming an international powerhouse, and even the World Cup becoming a major US television presence clearly demonstrated that the ‘94 event had finally established the game all across America.

More recently, FIFA events have helped to instil a keen interest and literacy in football among Millennials and younger spectators, which has helped to keep the spirit of the sport alive. With this in mind, the 2026 World Cup could be just the ticket to get Canada’s own football industry thriving from a grass roots level, and will certainly have an effect on the economy too.

Big Benefits Expected from World Cup 2026

The last time Canada participated in World Cup final stages was over 32 years ago, but in 2026, the country will cheer on its own side as they take to the field. Experts have suggested that this will help to boost locals’ opinions of the Men’s National Team, and also bring in resources to allow for the growth of the Canadian Premier League and home-based player development.

The country’s participation in the 2026 World Cup will also have a big economical impact. It is estimated that Canada, Mexico and the USA will enjoy a combined US$5 billion in short-term economic activity, and 40,000 short term jobs will provide over US$ billion in salaries. The overall net benefit for all 3 countries could be as much as US$4 billion, and for the host cities it could reach as much as US$480 million.

After hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup successfully Canada is ready for 2026, and their existing state of the art stadia and transport networks will certainly work in their favour, as they have a baseline that other countries such as Russia did not.

The influx of tourism and excitement ahead of the tournament will also produce a massive surge in sports betting activity, which will boost income for provincial governments and sportsbook operators alike.

2018 to 2026: What Will Change?

Simply being a part of one of the world’s most important sporting events will shift Canada’s conversation around sports, getting spectators and players involved on a deeper level. As for what will change in 2026, spectators may expect gentler weather after the heat of the 2022 Cup in Qatar, a completely different set of scenery, and the chance to watch passionate Canucks cheer for their own side on home turf.